January 20, 2022

Cl Youth Theatre

Fashion, The needs of women

Boxing Day a shopping day like any other, almost

Items were still up to 50-per-cent off their usual retail price, but COVID, the ease of online shopping and the cold kept many shoppers away from brick-and-mortar stores

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The city sidewalks were not busy sidewalks, although they’re still dressed in holiday style.

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It was Boxing Day on Sunday, but it could have been any old day ending in a ‘y’ given the sparse crowds and general lack of lineups outside stores along the shopping strips on Robson and on Cambie Street on Sunday afternoon.

“We’ve been saying that all day, it looks just like any other day inside the stores,” said shopper Sama Salehi, who was waiting with her friend Savannah Whitman in a small line to get into the Zara clothing store on Robson.

Both women say they’re quick shoppers anyway, but they were taking even less time to browse than they would have in the past because of COVID concerns.

“And the deals aren’t as good this year,” Whitman said.

Boxing Day shopper Sama Salehi on Robson Street Sunday.
Boxing Day shopper Sama Salehi on Robson Street Sunday. Photo by NICK PROCAYLO /PNG

The short line the two were in and an even shorter line outside of Aritzia women’s fashion boutique up the street were the only two on Robson over a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon. At one point the longest line on the street was the queue for the street vendor Van Hot Dog at the corner of Robson and Burrard.

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Sales clerks up and down Robson, as well as at the Best Buy on Granville Street, told the same story of customer traffic being light and sales slow.

There certainly was no lineup of taxis outside the Best Buy on Cambie Street to take people home with their brand new flat screens as has been known to occur in years past.

Not that no one was shopping.

The Cambie Best Buy, where smart TVs were on sale for as much as $1,000 off, had been fairly busy first thing in the morning, but that passed quickly, a sales clerk said.

Clothing stores along Robson advertised sale prices of 20 to 50 per cent off, but Tina Thorensen said she wasn’t happy with the selections she was seeing.

“You hear about supply-chain problems because of COVID, I don’t know if that’s it, but there just isn’t a whole lot to look at, not as much as past Boxing Day sales,” she said.

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It was also minus-7C, according to Environment Canada — minus-13C with the chill of a stiff wind funnelling down Robson — and that might have kept some shoppers away.

Boxing Day shoppers in action on Robson St., in Vancouver, BC., December 26, 2021.
Boxing Day shoppers in action on Robson St., in Vancouver, BC., December 26, 2021. Photo by NICK PROCAYLO /PNG

Which brings up the question: With online shopping so easy, and free delivery to boot, why even bother with the elements and other shoppers at all during a pandemic?

“I still like to feel the clothes I’m interested in,” said Nastya Hnatyshyn as she shivered on the sidewalk. “I’m worried about COVID, but the crowds inside the stores are small and I get in and out as fast as I can.”

Shopper Tina Carson, rushing home with her treasures, questioned why she hadn’t stayed put with her laptop and credit card in front of a warm fire.

“I’m freezing,” she said as she hurried off to her car.

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