The famous “butt lift” was not enough to save one fashion store in Burnaby.

Freddy Pant Room sold stretchy pants known for their flattering “butt lift” at Burnaby’s biggest mall – Metropolis at Metrotown. It is an international fashion giant, with stores across North American, Europe and even Australia.

It closed when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and now the signage has all been taken down and the windows papered up. The Internet listing says temporarily closed, but it looks like the closure might be permanent.

This another in a long line of retail store closures in Burnaby, including Aldo at Lougheed mall, Microsoft at Metropolis, Frank & Oak and more.

Statistics Canada said recently that overall retail sales in July rose 0.6 per cent to $52.9 billion, helped by higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and gasoline stations, after posting gains of more than 20 per cent in both May and June.

Outside of the major malls, Burnaby has seen multiple store closures, including Addition Elle and Thyme Maternity.

Retail Council of Canada president and CEO Diane J. Brisebois said the latest figures show the retail recovery is slowing down.

“The July numbers continue to reflect the many challenges facing retailers during this pandemic,” she said in a statement.

Freddy Pant Room’s former Metropolis location. @metrotowner photo

“We can presume that the June numbers released by Statistics Canada last month included some pent-up demand for various products and so the July numbers really present a more accurate state of Canadian retail.”

A preliminary estimate for August suggested that retail sales increased by 1.1 per cent, by Statistics Canada.

While BMO chief economist Douglas Porter said retail figures will continue to be more subdued in the coming months, he said the latest numbers also included many positives – most importantly the preliminary estimate for August.

“It’s almost comforting to see an economic report that is somewhat back to ‘normal’ in today’s moderate retail sales gain,” he said in a note to clients.

“While the headline gain was a bit shy of expectations, the much bigger and more important picture is that retail and wholesale activity just carved out perfect V-shaped rebounds.”

  • With files from the Canadian Press


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