Colwood parents now have a new go-to spot for all their baby shopping needs with the opening of a new TJ’s The Kiddies Store location.
The Island Highway shop joins the B.C. chain’s Douglas Street location in downtown Victoria and four Lower Mainland locations.
“We were looking to grow our business after more than 30 years on Douglas Street, and the West Shore is the fastest-growing community in Canada, so we wanted to capitalize on that,” said owner Chad Peterson.
Peterson said the expansion has been in the works for some time, and originally been planned for a different location in the area. When that deal fell through, 1740 Island Hwy. took its place.
There were also discussions within the company about closing down the downtown store due to a history of vandalism and loitering in the area, but Peterson said the decision was made to keep that location open as it was outperforming nearly every other location in the chain.
The downtown store’s performance only increased when it was announced rival Toys ‘R Us would be closing its Victoria location.
“That’s another reason why we wanted to expand into the West Shore. If our Victoria store is consistently out-performing mainland stores, then why not double-down there before another competitor comes in. We believe in the area, and are originally from there … so it was a wise idea to go back where we are from,” said Peterson.
Since the store held its soft opening on Jan. 11, Peterson said he has already seen how excited the community is having a location on the West Shore.
Leading up to the opening, he bumped into a stranger who turned out to be a customer of the downtown location who was excited to hear a location closer to home would be opening up. The customer said she would be letting all her fellow moms know, and sure enough, Peterson said 30 to 40 people came into the new store on opening day saying they had heard about it from that one customer.
The new store is also acting as a concept store for the company, piloting some new features as well as refreshed branding. The store is organized to be much more open and easy to navigate, even if it means slightly fewer products are stocked at any given time, with the emphasis instead placed on providing a curated and guided shopping experience.
It has also been designed to accommodate classes and workshops for parents, which are in the works, a future service department for the products they carry, and the upcoming return of used and discount items, which Peterson said was an original feature of the stores when he first started the company.
Located at 1740 Island Highway, the new location is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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