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New ‘bikini’ shop replaces bankrupt Swimco at Burnaby’s biggest mall

Bikini Village was also under creditor protection before being bought by La Vie en Rose
bikini village
A sample of Bikini Village swimwear.

With the constant rain that’s hit Burnaby in recent weeks – OK the rain isn’t recent at all, it’s constant – it’s hard for many to think of hitting the beach in a new swimsuit.

But if you are, there’s a new option out there for you to get some new swim gear with the opening of Bikini Village in Burnaby’s biggest mall, Metropolis at Metrotown.

Bikini Village, which was under creditor protection, was bought earlier this year by Boutique La Vie en Rose Inc. Now, the company has expanded with new stores.

Bikini Village takes over the space abandoned by swimwear brand Swimco Group.

Swimco as a company imploded in the fall of 2020 as COVID-19 impacts took their toll

The company filed a notice in June 2020 that it intended to make a proposal under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, according to legal documents posted online by Deloitte Restructuring.

Swimco is one of many Canadian retailers feeling that "new retail reality." It joins companies such as Reitman's Canada Ltd., Aldo Group and Mendocino Clothing Co., which have all filed for some sort of protection under bankruptcy laws.

La Vie en Rose, the largest Canadian lingerie and swimwear retailer, said it plans to continue operating the 48 Bikini Village stores included in the transaction under the Bikini Village banner as a separate network and maintain its multi-brand offer.

"We are happy to preserve the continuity of the Bikini Village banner, to keep the ownership in Canada and most of all save the 300 store jobs in these difficult times for the industry," mentions François Roberge, President and CEO of Boutique La Vie en Rose Inc. "This acquisition will not only allow us to consolidate our position as the #1 swimwear retailer in Canada, but we also plan to take advantage of it to strengthen our international presence by exporting the banner outside the country."

The Bikini Village opening is good news for Metropolis at Metrotown, which has seen a string of store closures, including Pink, Microsoft, Frank and Oak and, recently, Little Mountain clothing. Boys’ Co. also announced recently that it will be closing its Metropolis store.

  • With files from the Canadian Press