Bower Place is turning its former Sears location into a temporary boutique marketplace starting Thursday.
The Great Indoors Market at Bower will be a mix of retailers, seasonal vendors, specialty leases, pop-up shops and a community event space with a stage, selfie wall and sitting areas.
Everything will be located in a 12,000-square-foot portion of the main floor, with space for 12 to 15 retailers.
The market will open up Thursday with True Bliss Cheesecake, and with performances by Safari Jeff and his 2018 Animology Tour.
Sonya Hunt, general manager of QuadReal Property Group at Bower Place, said about 30 per cent of the space will be occupied by the soft launch on Monday and all merchants will be on site Nov. 5.
Other vendors include Black Rifle Coffee Company, Bolli Imports, Calendar Club, Calyx Floral Design, Dean Foster Cartoons & Illustrations, Gotta Get It! (Jimmy Zees Man Cave Gifts and more), Happy Hippo Bath Company, Hickory Farms , Just Cozy and Kaylee Baylees.
“This market has the potential to incubate more boutique-like entrepreneurs and produce sustainable longevity in our retail landscape. For example, Pink Society was a pop-up store last Christmas that has successfully scaled into a longer tenant. They are a great compliment to our everyday national retailers,” Hunt said.
Christmas kiosk merchants will also move into the market.
“This has been an exciting change with a decidedly innovative approach. We’re elevating the shopping experience and creating a more seamless pedestrian flow through Bower Place mall.”
Access is from inside the mall. Elsewhere on the old Sears main floor is the 2019 Canada Winter Games Volunteer Centre, which can be accessed from the exterior doors at the old Sears entrance.
Hunt said the market will open up the mall to quality, local businesses that have always wanted to locate in a big shopping centre.
“Hopefully, early in the new year, we’ll be able to announce what is the future of this space. But in the short term, we knew we wanted to work with Canada Winter Games and knew we wanted to do an indoor market.”
Safari Jeff will perform with his reptiles at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Shows will also be held Oct. 31 at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.
Admission is free. For more information, visit www.bowerplace.com.