One of Bower Place Shopping Centre’s oldest tenants is moving on — and its departure will be particularly hard on some.
Gord’s Smoke Shop was scheduled to close its store in the mall on Tuesday, with plans to reopen at 2310 Gaetz Ave. within two weeks.
“Our goal is to be open by March 1,” said Andee Malyon, who operates the family business.
The store, which carries a broad range of tobacco supplies — including cigars, pipes and accessories — as well as gift items and other products, had become a regular stop for many people who work or shop in the mall, said Malyon. But she thinks the move will bring more benefits than drawbacks.
Key among these will be space, with Gord’s growing to nearly 2,800 square feet from the 855 square feet it had in the mall.
That will allow the shop to expand its product lines, and get back into merchandise like souvenirs and novelty items that it carried previously.
Malyon also expects its cigar and tobacco supplies offerings to grow.
The store’s new premises, which were occupied by Computer Trends until last month, are also in a better location, she said. With minors prohibited from entering tobacco shops, staff often had to ask families of mall shoppers to stay out.
“It’s not like a liquor store where you can walk in with your two-year-old in your arms and buy a bottle of alcohol,” pointed out Malyon.
“It’s absolutely no minors allowed in the store.”
Moving to a site between two-adult-oriented businesses — Bo’s Bar & Grill and Adult Video Super Store — should alleviate this problem, she said.
Malyon believes Gord’s Smoke Shop was one of the original Bower Place Shopping Centre tenants in 1981.
Her parents, Gordon and Jane Bellingham, bought the business from Gail and Eric Sissons in 1996, and Gordon believes there may have been two owners before the Sissons.
Malyon took over around 2005, and her daughter Taylor is now also involved.
In its early years, she said, the store carried a wide variety of magazines and sold lottery tickets. It later served as a Ticketmaster outlet, but discontinued that time-consuming commitment in December 2011.
Gord’s Smoke Shop will maintain its mall hours at the new location — at least until the preferences of shoppers are known.
Malyon hopes its mall customers will continue to shop there, and that more people will discover the store once it has a high-profile store front on Gaetz Avenue.