Canadian swimwear chain Swimco goes bankrupt, shutting down Vancouver stores

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      The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed yet another Canadian business. After almost half a century in business, a national swimwear company has gone belly up.

      On its website, Calgary-based Swimco says “it’s time we say, sea you later” and states that after 45 years in business, it is permanently closing its doors.

      When the pandemic hit in March, the company had closed all of its stores and laid off most of its staff while keeping its online store open.

      In June, the company filed a notice of intention to restructure and streamlined its operations. It permanently closed five stores, including one in Downtown Vancouver.

      According to its court filing, the Swimco Group estimated it had approximately $6.5 million in unsecured claims, including $1.6 million in rent.

      The company had two stores in B.C., both in the Lower Mainland: at 2166 West 4th Avenue in Kitsilano and at Metropolis in Metrotown in Burnaby.

      Founder Corinne Forseth launched the company as a mail-order business in 1975 and launched the first store in Calgary in 1982 before expanding into Vancouver and Victoria and also into Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario.

      Swimco CEO Lori Bacon, Forseth’s daughter, had originally intended on retiring this past summer but the pandemic disrupted her plans.

      The national chain sells swimwear, beachwear, and accessories, including shorts, pants, dresses, leggings, underwear, footwear, shirts, fitness gear, sunglasses, hats, and more.

      The company’s online store remains operational with a 45 percent off sale.

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