What’s in Store: Good to be found amid bad news

It’s been a horrible week for business news in Langley, with announcements that several big retailers – Target, MEXX, and Sony – are closing stores.

In Langley, it means the Target store in Willowbrook Shopping Centre will disappear this year. As well, MEXX, which operates on the Langley Bypass, will be gone by the end of February.

Sony, of course, pulled out of Langley a few years back, and that space – again on the Langley Bypass – has been occupied by Mastermind Toys for two Christmases.

While I’m sorry to hear of these losses, I’ll try to share some positive business happenings with you in today’s column.

First, let me spotlight the fact that construction has finally started on the Coulter Berry building at Mavis Avenue and Glover Road.

Work is well underway on the controversial three-storey mixed-use building.

For those who have remained unaware, I’m talking about the old Fort Langley IGA site that burned down in a horrific fire in January 2011.

The Lee family, who owned that grocery store, opted to build their new store further back on Mavis, leaving the corner for redevelopment. The grocery store has been up and operational since December 2012.

I know the new project has been coloured by some heated debate and even court proceedings over the past few years. While I’m not taking sides on that debate, I have to tell you I’m just glad to see something happening in that spot – it has been an eyesore for far too long.

Vapours permeate

There seems to be an obvious surge in vapour stores (you know, those places that sell electronic cigarettes) within the Langley boundaries of late.

In Langley City, the old CIBC building (at the beginning of the one-way section of Fraser Highway) has a new tenant.

Columbia Vapour has moved in near the back of the building. As well, Coastal Vape Shop opened back in December on the main drag in Aldergrove. And EZ-Vape Canada has opened up in November, in Walnut Grove.

I’m sure there are more that I haven’t learned of yet, but obviously this popular trend is migrating out from the big cities – expect some vapour lounges to pop up soon.

Speaking of businesses that are popping up in crazy numbers around town, let’s talk pharmacies.

Of course there have been a series of drug stores opening up in and around the core of Langley City in the past year, with the newest one – People’s Drug Mart – moving into some vacant space in the Langley Mall soon.

Unfortunately, this opening seems to follow on the heels of the closure of Medicine Centre Pharmacy, which operated for years in that mall, just a few doors down from the impending People’s location.

And speaking of pharmacies, I’ll throw back to Fort Langley for a moment, and talk about the new medical building just being finished up on 96th Avenue, just west of Glover Road.

Among the new tenants in that building, signs indicate we can expect another pharmacy soon.

Others opening

Again, speaking of new businesses in town, Saladworks Canada just held its a grand opening last week for its newest restaurant – here in town.

“We have now built two corporate restaurants, one in Yaletown and now Langley,” said Paul Lalli CEO of Saladworks Canada of the 64th Avenue locale.

“We choose Langley as we believe it not only has the demographics that we are looking for, but also is a dynamic and growing community and that’s why we strategically choose Langley to become our training centre.”

Revving engines

And while this isn’t a grand opening, I wanted to tell you of a trade show in Abbotsford this weekend that’s expected to spotlight a few Langley businesses.

I’m talking about the annual motorcycle show happening at Tradex, and given that Langley is a hub for motorcycle riders and businesses, I expect this to be a big weekend for them.

The show runs Friday to Sunday. More info at TheMotorcycleShows.ca.

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