Woodward's after Bankruptcy


Charles Woodward established the first Woodward store at the corner of Main and Georgia Streets in Vancouver in 1892. On September 12, 1902, Woodward Department Stores Ltd. was incorporated, and a new store was built in Vancouver on the corner of Hastings and Abbott Streets. In 1926, a store was opened in Edmonton, and by the late 1940s, the company began to open numerous stores in both provinces. Facing financial difficulties, Woodward's was sold to the Hudson's Bay Company in 1993.

Woodward's was a central feature of the retail scene especially in southwestern British Columbia for much of the twentieth century. The chain was distinctive in that the stores included a large supermarket (the "Food Floor") as an adjunct or at some locations part of the department store. When Woodward's sold the Food Floor - long known for its quality and its line of unusual specialties - to Safeway, the flagship food floor became a reduced-size IGA store until the building closed as Safeway showed no interest in that location. Many older western Canadians remember fondly Woodward's famous "$1.49 Day" sales, held the first Tuesday of every month. These sales were advertised widely on radio and in newspapers, and offered everything from canvas-top running shoes to bath oil for the one price.

Most Woodward's locations were converted to HBC's Bay or Zellers stores by the end of 1993. Other major retailers took over several stores, and the remaining locations were either closed or were divided into mall retail space.

Woodward's also operated two stand alone Furniture Fair stores in Burnaby (which became Costco's first location in Canada in 1985) and Edmonton in the 1970s. There were also discount type stores called Woodwynn (similar to Winners) in BC and Alberta (some within Woodward's Stores), which were originally known as Woodward's Bargain Stores. Several malls, also had separate Woodward's Book Stores. The closure of Woodward's locations in many malls sparked redevelopment and expansion of a number of the centers, such as Chinook Centre in Calgary. In a number of malls, the presence of separate operations such as the book store and Woodwynn, required these stores to also be replaced. When the West Edmonton Mall location closed, The Bay - which already had a full store at the opposite end of the mall - simply converted the former Woodward's into a second Bay (one of the only cases where a single mall has had two duplicate anchor tenants); after a few years of this, however, the Woodwards-Bay was closed and converted into a multi-screen movie theatre, an HMV Canada  location, and additional retail space.

On December 8, 2009, the Woodward's Food Floor reopened for the first time since the chain's sale to Safeway. The new Woodward's Food Floor, which is located at the former Woodward's complex (along with a new location of London Drugs), is now a division of Nester's Market. [1]


Vancouver Woodward's 2005.jpg British Columbia


The flagship Woodward's Building grew incrementally (14 additions) until its peak when it filled almost an entire city block bounded by Cordova, Hastings and Abbott Streets in downtown Vancouver. Only the original 1903-08 portion of the building remains after September 30, 2006, the day when most of the building fell in a "roll over" demolition which was witnessed by thousands.

See Woodwards Store demolition.

·         Vancouver

o    (Downtown, 101 W. Hastings St)—mostly demolished under redevelopment (Upper levels housed Woodward's head office)

o    Woodward's Food Floor (Abbott and Cordova Street) operated by Nesters Market reopened on December 8, 2009.

o    (Oakridge Centre) 1959 (extensively renovated—1984)—currently The Bay & Zellers (3 floor store - was very large and divided into two mid-size anchors, Food Floor is now a large Safeway store); there was also a stand-alone Food Floor in the Arbutus Village Shopping Centre (1974) which is now a Safeway store.

·         West Vancouver (Park Royal Centre)—(Canada's first shopping center in 1950) is currently The Bay (which moved from location in the South Mall). Food Floor converted to London Drugs

·         Burnaby (MetrotownCentre) 1986—currently Zellers & a T&T Supermarket on the lower main floor where the former Food Floor was located, Safeway did not take this location (store was 3 floors)

·         Nanaimo (Woodgrove Centre) 1981—converted to The Bay. The Bay moved in 2000 to larger former Eaton's location in mall, original Bay store demolished and a Wal-Mart store built on the site

·         Port Alberni (downtown - 3rd Ave)—currently a Zellers (freestanding store), adjacent former Woodward's Food Floor which Zellers expanded into. (One of the original stores - opened in 1948)

·         Victoria (Mayfair Centre) 1963/1974 expanded—currently The Bay. It replaced the original 1950s freestanding Victoria store, which was located downtown on Douglas Street. Food Floor converted to new mall retail space.

·         Penticton (Cherry Lane Mall) 1975—currently The Bay. Food Floor converted to mall retail space and a food fair.

·         New Westminster (Royal City Centre) replaced the original 1954 freestanding store in 1991 when a new store was built on the adjacent parking area, the original store was then demolished and replaced with a new shopping mall, office and residential buildings. The store was converted to Zellers after HBC takeover in 1993 and then closed in 2006, Dollarama and Labels have located on the lower main floor, the 2nd floor is being converted to office space in 2008.

·         Richmond (Lansdowne Centre) 1977—converted to Zellers originally, Zellers moved in 2000 to larger, former Eaton's space in the mall, currently a Future Shop, Home Outfitters & JYSK and other retailers. Food Floor converted to Safeway which closed in 2004 now Best Buy

·         Surrey (Guildford Town Centre) 1966—currently The Bay, Food Floor closed in 1990, converted to mall retail space, mostly Old Navy

·         Prince George (Parkwood Mall) 1966—currently The Bay - the original Parkwood Mall was redeveloped, Food Floor was converted to Safeway then closed and demolished.

·         Coquitlam (Coquitlam Centre) 1979—currently Sears as The Bay already had a location in the mall.

·         Abbotsford (Sevenoaks Centre) 1975—currently The Bay, the former Food Floor is now Extra Foods

·         Kamloops (Aberdeen Mall) 1981—originally converted to a Zellers store (Zellers has since moved to new larger location nearby), currently a new Sears store (the Aberdeen Mall Woodward's store replaced the original (1963) Kamloops downtown store in 1981, which is now the British Columbia Lottery Corporation headquarters building) former Food Floor adjacent is now a Future Shop & Sport Chek


·         Calgary

o    (Chinook Centre) 1960—currently The Bay (was the first Calgary store - 1960)

o    (Market Mall) 1970—currently Zellers & additional mall retail space

o    (Sunridge Mall) 1981—currently Zellers & additional mall retail space

·         Edmonton

o    (Southgate Centre) 1970—originally converted to Eaton's in 1993, currently a Sears store (largest in Alberta) there is an attached Safeway store (former Food Floor)

o    (Edmonton City Centre, Downtown)—originally replaced by The Bay in 1993, recently The Bay has moved into the former Eaton's store when the mall underwent major renovations in 2001, it is now replaced by Winners, World Health Club, Sport Chek, CBC Edmonton's studios, mall retail & office space. (The original Downtown Edmonton store was rebuilt and opened in 1974 as part of the Edmonton Centre Mall complex).

o    (Westmount Centre)—currently Zellers and office space, the adjacent Food Floor (Safeway) was demolished and replaced in 2008 with a Home Depot. (Second Edmonton store - 1955)

o    (Northgate) 1965—originally converted to a Kmart store on lower floor, currently a Zellers (the upper floor is being converted to office space in 2008 - was vacant and used for storage since the store closed).

o    (Mill Woods Town Centre) 1988—originally converted to Eaton's, currently Zellers

o    (West Edmonton Mall) 1985 (Phase 3)—originally converted to The Bay (2nd store in mall), now has been divided into mall retail space (primarily an HMV location) and cinemas

·         Lethbridge  (Lethbridge Centre) 1975—currently The Bay

·         Red Deer (Bower Place Mall) 1981—currently The Bay

Note: Article modified from Wikipedia.