Stoxx Vintage expands within British Columbia's mall network to reach more shoppers
A vintage store in British Columbia is helping to reimagine the shopping-mall experience with the opening of its third retail storefront in the province’s biggest mall.
Stoxx Vintage, a specialist in vintage denim, streetwear and collectibles, has focused its growth over the past three years on shopping malls in order to reach wider audiences.
“The traditional fashion mall is full of marketing, fast fashion and quickly changing trends,” says Tricia Hill, co-owner and executive director of Stoxx Vintage.
“Change is facilitated from within and it is one of our visions to make sustainable, pre-loved and upcycled fashion a part of the norm.”
The Stoxx Vintage brand, founded in 1998, opened its first mall outpost shortly before the pandemic at Kingsgate Mall, a smattering of storefronts in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood.
Within two years, Stoxx Vintage was ready to try another location, and opened at Woodgrove Centre in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island’s largest mall.
But the brand’s biggest move yet happened in November 2022, when it opened at Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby, B.C. It’s the province’s biggest mall with nearly 400 stores — not only is Stoxx Vintage the first and only vintage store there, but it’s also the first to be located inside major malls in the province.
Tricia Hill, Stoxx Vintage’s co-owner and executive director, says the Metrotown deal came to fruition after “years of negotiation” to enter retail environments that historically have not accepted secondhand goods. Many shopping malls have long had policies prohibiting the sale of used goods, though Tricia says the reason why those policies were in place was never made clear.
“People stereotyped used clothing as undesirable and therefore it wasn’t something they thought of or were interested in,” she says. “Our passion for sustainable fashion is what kept us resilient.”
Merchandising the Stoxx Vintage brand alongside “firsthand” retail helps to shift consumer attitudes toward pre-loved fashion, Tricia says.
With the rise of thrifting and increasing responsibilities of both consumers and corporations to pursue sustainable alternatives amid a changing climate, vintage stores coexisting with traditional retail is a trend that’s gaining momentum.
In Ontario, several malls are now host to secondhand fashion stores, including Yorkdale Shopping Centre and Scarborough Town Centre in Toronto.
“We appreciate the opportunity to inform and introduce vintage to mainstream consumers,” says Tricia. “We do not take this opportunity lightly.”
Stoxx Vintage carries a curated selection of premium vintage, upcycled clothing and secondhand brand-name contemporary fashions in its three locations and on its shoppable website, which offers international shipping.
The physical stores have tapped into markets that Tricia says needs to be served — young people at the mall who are bombarded with fast-fashion options, and shoppers who haven’t considered secondhand clothing at all.
“Sustainable fashion can help us all individually reduce our footprint while also expressing our unique styles,” says Tricia. “We want people to walk in and become inspired while also exploring their fashion.”
As a Black-owned business, the mission of Stoxx Vintage goes beyond helping the environment. “We aim to reintroduce how pre-loved clothing is viewed in different communities and demographics,” Tricia says. Consumers at the mall have the choice now to support a Black-owned business while buying pre-loved.
“If we can change a consumer, one at a time, to understand their purchasing power, we believe we can have the power to show the younger generation that vintage clothing is a viable option for their fashion trends instead of fast fashion.”
Tricia says the Stoxx Vintage team has been touched by the community’s excitement for their venture.
“As the first vintage store to be in major malls [in B.C.], consumers supporting us is essential,” she says. “It has been extremely rewarding to see the amount of support and growth we have received.
“A lot of customers say ‘it’s about time, this is what the malls are missing.’”
How do you feel about vintage stores making their way into shopping malls? Let us know in the comments!