The 102-year-old, Vancouver-based shoe retailer Ingledew’s is liquidating its inventory and plans to close all six B.C. stores by mid-summer, CEO Bill Ingledew told Business in Vancouver May 8.
“It is a bankruptcy,” Ingledew said.
“Maynards are handling the liquidation, in conjunction with ourselves. They posted on their website on Saturday that there’s a liquidation commencing immediately in all the stores.”
Maynards estimated that Ingledew’s has $12 million worth of inventory and announced that prices are now at 25% off. Maynards also halted all online sales at Ingledew’s because, Ingledew said, the chain would not be able to offer a return policy.
Three of the six Ingledew’s locations also have an Ecco shoes store attached. Those Ingledew-operated Ecco locations, which are connected to the Victoria, Park Royal and Richmond Centre Ingeldew’s stores, will also close.
The three other Ingledew’s stores are at Oakridge Centre, at Brentwood Town Centre and at 900 West Hastings Street, at the corner of Hornby Street.
The news comes as the ultra-competitive, shoe retail sector undergoes dramatic change.
Vancouver’s Shoes.com halted business suddenly in January and liquidated assets including its ShoeMe.ca and Shoes.com web domains.
DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse acquired the ShoeMe.ca domain while Walmart bought the Shoes.com domain. Walmart is using its Shoes.com domain to promote shoes from its Shoebuy.com Inc. subsidiary, which Walmart bought in January, just a few weeks before Shoes.com went kaput.
“Ingledew’s collection was more conservative than what a lot of younger shoppers are looking for these days,” said Craig Patterson, who is a retail consultant and owner of Retail Insider Media.
“Ingledew’s didn’t really address the new consumer trends toward more fashion-forward footwear, whereas a retailer like Browns Shoes, which went from no locations in Western Canada to opening in Holt Renfew and the Bay – they did. Browns now has a bunch of freestanding stores. They are very fashion-forward shoes and are expanding like crazy and doing well.”
Some Vancouver-based shoe retailers have been expanding. Fluevog Shoes opened its 22nd store in Edmonton in April.
Ingledew’s grandfather William Wright Ingledew opened the first Ingledew’s store on Granville Street on February 15, 1915. His daughter, Pascale, worked at the store for about 20 years and was the fourth generation in the business.