Swimwear giant closes Burnaby store forever as company goes bankrupt

Swimwear brand Swimco Group, which had operated a store in Burnaby’s biggest mall, is shutting down, citing impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Swimco has permanently closed its Metropolis at Metrotown store.

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"It's time we say, sea you later," the website states. "Canada is a country built on family business, and with that drive and determination we will see bluer skies and greener seas in the future."

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

Chief executive Lori Bacon said at the time the proposal to creditors would take the company down to 20 stores, from 25, and give the company time to renegotiate leases and downsize its head office.

"From mid-March to late May, the Swimco Group's only source of revenue was from its online sales," said Bacon in an affidavit.

"When one of (the company’s) landlords demanded payment by a certain date, the Swimco Group elected to seek creditor protection to allow the Swimco Group to reorganize its affairs to better fit with the new retail reality."

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.

Swimco, which opened its first store in Calgary in 1982, focused its business model on the in-store "fit experts," who advised shoppers on flattering swimwear styles. The privately held company, which started in the 1970s doing mail order, launched an online version of its fit expert service in 2014.

  • With files from the Canadian Press

 

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