A look back at business in 2017: Sears closing, Willowbrook mall expanding, restaurants opening

Retail , restaurants and retirements were the names of the game in 2017 in Langley

Retail , restaurants and retirements were the name of the game in 2017 in Langley.

In February, Dudek Shoes in Willowbrook Shopping Centre closed its doors for good after 26 years running the popular shoe store.

Owners Ted and Maxine Dudek put up their feet and eased into retirement.

In July, hundreds showed up bright in early to be the first into the newly relocated Toys ‘R’ Us opened in the southwest corner at Willowbrook Shopping Centre. The move of Toys R Us and Sport Chek leaves the NW corner empty while renovations to the mall take place.

In September, the American Toys R Us company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Toys ‘R’ Us Canada promises business as usual here It has been a tough year for retail giants. Sears announced it was closing all its stores.

The Sears at Willowbrook is an anchor tenant but its doors are expected to close this month for good. The retail giant has existed in Canada since 1953 and has been in Willowbrook since it opened. Dozens of local jobs were lost in the closing, with hundreds lost across the country.

Wholesale Sports is also set to close on Langley Bypass.

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Joseph Richards Group (JFG) is adding another restaurant to the Langley food scene. Called The Italian, the new restaurant will be located in Walnut Grove and open soon at the Oak and Thorne’s current location.

The Oak and Thorne Public House will move across the street to the Sandman Hotel in the space that was formally the Shark Club.

One of the most popular business stories of the year is the upcoming renovations and expansion at Willowbrook mall, which will include 210,000 sq ft. and 15 new buildings. Shoppers have plenty to say about what stores they would like to see in the mall. This story was by far one of our top 1o most read online stories of the year.

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In October, Dana Matheson was crowned Langley’s Business Person of theYear at the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence awards. Matheson owns a number of local companies and also purchased the popular Cedarbrook Bakery a few years ago. He contributes to the community on a regular basis including creating the annual Family Day event at Langley Events Centre.

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The Otter Co-Op is building a three-storey wine tasting centre beside its farm and home store at 3650 248 St. Otter Co-Op continues to contribute the community and grow its costumer base as one of the longest standing local stores.

In December, after 22 years of providing friendship and care to their customers of Shefield & Sons in Langley Mall — Rose and Harjit Sidhu retired.

They were so loved, that hundreds flocked to the postal outlet and store to offer retirement gifts, cards and thanks for all the years. The Sidhus held a thank you night with around 100 customers attending for dinner and live entertainment.

In September, the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce asked its members to start a letter writing campaign against the federal government’s new changes to small business tax. Dozens of Langley small business owners, a local lawyer and the chamber have written many letters opposing the tax changes that they say will cripple people’s livehoods. Finance Minister Bill Morneau released the changes in July that include stopping income splitting, passive investment income.

The changes were intended to stop wealthy corporations from tax loopholes but in fact the changes will majorily impact small businesses including family doctors. Prime Minster Justin Trudeau was hammered with opposition to the changes to which he responded by cutting small business tax to nine per cent.

 

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