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Mall wars: Bayview Village doesn’t want to be like Yorkdale

The un-Yorkdalian Bayview Village (Image: Google)

The National Post has published a lengthy piece on the recent renovations at Toronto’s major malls. The Eaton Centre, Bayview Village, Dufferin Mall and the Scarborough Town Centre have all finished or are undergoing revamps to lure shoppers and compete with on-line retailers. Just last week, the Town Centre completed a $62-million reno job with new flooring, skylights and escalators, and the Eaton Centre (currently working on a $120-million make-over) is a jumble of scaffolding.

Bayview Village won’t disclose how much its recent facelift cost, but five Swarovski crystal chandeliers now hang in its lobby (we have no idea how much they go for, but an itsy-bitsy Swarovski tea light holder is $100). They’ve also redone the entrances and commissioned an LED light display by Lumid Lighting, a company that does work for Las Vegas resorts. The goal is to put the shopping centre in a different league than its competitors. In fact, Bayview reps refuse to describe it as a mall. “We like to think of what we do as more civilized,” said marketing director Melissa Evans-Lee. According to the Post:

Even though the Yorkdale Mall made news by opening the first Victoria’s Secret store in Toronto, Evans-Lee says Victoria’s Secret isn’t their type of shop.

“We don’t want to be like Fairview and Yorkdale with all the same stores,” she says. “This is a whole different kettle of fish.”

…and a fancier kettle, no doubt. Victoria’s Secret may be a little downmarket for Bayview Village, but we wonder what they think about the rumours of J. Crew opening in Yorkdale this fall.

‘The death of the shopping mall is an old story’ [National Post]