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Old Posted Mar 10, 2011, 9:08 PM
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Location: Halifax
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Halifax Shopping Centre going upscale

By BRUCE ERSKINE Business Reporter
Thu, Mar 10 - 4:55 AM

The Halifax Shopping Centre is moving on up.

"They’re making it high-end," an employee at one of the mall stores that will close at the end of March said Wednesday in an interview.

Stores advertising closing-out sales at the shopping centre include Fairweather, West 49, Athletes World, Suzy Shier and Stitches.

Other stores, including Pseudio and Spring, are relocating to larger spaces in the mall.

Stores reportedly moving into the mall this spring include the lingerie retailer Victoria’s Secret and Sirens.

Linda Townsend, the shopping centre’s director of marketing, confirmed that changes are afoot at the mall, but she wouldn’t disclose details.

"There are some moves going on, but nothing I can talk about," Townsend said Wednesday, citing legal and lease confidentiality issues.

"I’m not in a position to mention the changes that are occurring."

The Mumford Road shopping centre is owned by the Ontario Pension Board, which administers Ontario’s public service pension plan.

It has more than $16 billion in assets and owns real estate across Canada.

John Stewart, assistant manager of the Fairweather outlet in the mall, suggested that high rents and a decision to go "Park Lane" were behind some of the retail store changes.

Park Lane is a high-end mall in downtown Halifax.

Stewart, who lives near the shopping centre, is transferring to the Fairweather outlet in Bedford. While he wasn’t thrilled about the lengthy commute, he said he was luckier than part-time Fairweather workers who were laid off.

An employee at another shop that is closing called the situation "unfortunate" and questioned the mall’s upscale change in direction.

"People with money shop on Spring Garden Road," she said. "This area is not high income."

Staff at West 49 confirmed the Halifax store was closing at the end of March, when its lease expires, but referred questions to company headquarters in Burlington, Ont.

West 49 officials could not be reached Wednesday. The company has another outlet in Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth.

The Athletes World outlet, whose lease also expires at the end of the month, is being replaced by an Aeropostale clothing store.

Some Athletes World staff are transferring to other locations, while others are out of a job, store employees said.
Posted this here since west end mall is part of Halifax Shopping Centre.
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