When Topshop opened its first Australian location in Melbourne last year, hundreds of ecstatic shoppers lined up overnight for an opportunity to be the next trend-setter.
It’s the same at the clothing retailer’s launches around the world: New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong. Wherever Topshop goes, fashionistas flock – except in Vancouver.
When the women’s clothing store — and its male equivalent, Topman — made their debut at The Bay Thursday morning, only a handful of shoppers turned out. At times, there appeared to be more staff than there were customers browsing the furry clutches, pink blush and sequined tops.
Visiting Australian Karen Osman was one of the few.
She was expecting Thursday’s opening to be more like the one in Melbourne, which happens to be her hometown.
“I was surprised when I walked past this morning to see how empty it was,” she said.
Courtney Hunter of Langley agreed, but she is happy with the look of the place, she said.
“They’ve got, like, all the new stuff, so it’s not, like, older products,” she said, who is somewhat of a Topshop connoisseur (she’s been to stores in Chicago and New York).
Despite Thursday’s poor turnout, her and friend Zoe Dixon think Topshop will be a hit with Vancouverites.
“All my friends love it,” said Dixon. “And I do, too.”
Osman said the store will appeal to older women, as well.
“It’s better than H&M in terms of the layout, the quality of the merchandise, the quality of the clothes,” she said. “As a mature-age woman, I’m a bit more fussy about that kind of thing.”