THESE are sexy times at St. Vital Shopping Centre.
Winnipeg's second-biggest mall is preparing to welcome the world's leading retailer of lingerie, Victoria's Secret, as well as Diva Lingerie, a locally owned lingerie operator. Both locations are expected to open this fall.
'When the opportunity came up at St. Vital, we jumped at it'
Devica Bhairo, owner of Diva, has sold high-end lingerie out of Grant Park Shopping Centre for the past 21 years and felt the time was right to expand her horizons.
"I've been looking around for a long time. Because of our market, I didn't feel a strip mall would serve us well, so when the opportunity came up at St. Vital, we jumped at it," she said.
Bhairo said she is looking forward to being in the same mall as Victoria's Secret, which opened its first Winnipeg store in late 2012 in Polo Park Shopping Centre.
"I'm very excited to be a part of the whole mix. I'm not shy about stepping up for a challenge," she said.
Cheryl Mazur, general manager of St. Vital, said an additional 1,800 square feet has been added near its food court to accommodate Victoria's Secret and its sister company, Pink, a sporty brand that targets a younger demographic. This is Pink's first location in Winnipeg.
"It's going to be a dual store," she said.
The new additions bring St. Vital up to 100 per cent occupancy, a level it hasn't been at for a number of years. She credits the success to its continued focus on meeting the retail needs of families.
While the work to accommodate Victoria's Secret is a modest upgrade to the mall, last year it spent $11 million renovating the food hall, replacing the flooring, installing sky lights and adding LED lights, among other things.
St. Vital Centre has 160 tenants in about 930,000 square feet of retail space.
-- Geoff Kirbyson