Just as the Oscar nominations were being announced today, a series of closure announcements made for a grim day on Canada's retail scene.
Two major retailers are calling it quits in Canada.
Target Canada announced on January 15 that it will close its 133 stores across Canada. The U.S.–based retailer launched in Canada in March 2013 to high expectations.
Unfortunately, due to numerous problems, such as higher prices and less selection in Canada than the U.S., it never established itself in the Canadian market. Consequently, the company lost about $2 billion over two years. The closures mean 18,000 employees will lose their jobs.
Many of Target's locations were formerly Zellers stores.
Meanwhile, Sony Canada also announced it will shut down all its stores over the next six to eight weeks. It has 14 stores, with three of them in the Lower Mainland.
The Japan-based company has not released a statement explaining why the stores are being closed. The closures were announced in the wake of the much-publicized Sony Entertainment hack linked to the release of the Vancouver-shot film The Interview.
On the fashion retail scene, Mexx Canada, which filed for bankruptcy last year, will begin closing its stores this week and the company will liquidate 95 stores at 25 locations by the end of February. About 250 jobs will be lost. Its head office in Montreal will close in March.
It has nine stores in the Lower Mainland, including on Robson Street and at Metrotown. The Netherlands-based company's closures in Canada follow announcements by fashion retailers Smart Set and Jacobs to also end operations.
On the local culinary front, the Vancouver raw vegan eatery Gorilla Food also announced that it is shuttering its two locations.
As if that's not enough, Canada's gay and lesbian newspaper Xtra, which began publication in Toronto in 1984 with expansions to Ottawa and Vancouver, announced that it would stop publishing its print edition and instead focus on its digital version.
Although Canada's LGBT communities have made considerable gains over the duration of the publication's existence, the ending of the print edition and its street presence will be considered a loss for many LGBT readers.
However, where one business ends, another potentially begins, as the Georgia Straight's Carlito Pablo reports.