Canada’s shopping malls could look a lot emptier by the end of the summer. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of stores are saying goodbye to Canada, as multiple brands prepare to shut down some of their Canadian locations. Even big names like Starbucks, Aldo and Victoria’s Secret are shutting some of their shops.

According to a new report from Retail Insider, Canadians should prepare to say goodbye to “hundreds” of their favourite stores this summer.

After a challenging few months, primarily due to the impacts of COVID-19, multiple companies across the country are preparing to close their doors for good. This includes independent retailers, as well as large chains and well-known businesses.

Retail Insider reports that fashion retailers have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, as customers were unable to shop in-store until recently. Several stores have struggled to meet delivery demands, and have been unable to secure credit insurance coverage for deliveries.

Many well-known brands, such as Aldo, The Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic are making plans to restructure their operations. This often includes closing multiple stores. 

Lingerie retailer La Senza intends to close 30% of its 100 Canadian locations, while Victoria’s Secret continues to shutter many of its Canada-based stores. 

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Yet retail stores aren’t the only businesses reportedly struggling.

Last month, Starbucks announced that it would be closing up to 200 locations in Canada over the next 24 months.

Similarly, Canadian specialty tea company DavidsTea is closing multiple stores permanently. Retail Insider reports that the company hasn’t paid rent for some locations in months.

In cities like Ottawa and Toronto, small businesses continue to shut down, citing the pandemic as the reason for their permanent closure.

In June, Ottawa’s The Highlander Pub confirmed they wouldn't be making a comeback post-pandemic. 

A similar announcement came from The Fish Market Restaurant, who also own Coasters Seafood Grill and Vineyards Wine Bar Bistro.

Even the tech industry has been affected. Last week, Microsoft confirmed that they were going fully digital ahead of schedule, and would be closing all Canadian stores permanently.

Without many of these super-recognizable brands in our malls, they're bound to look pretty different!

*This article's cover images are for illustrative purposes only.