Preloved closes shop (and Queen West loses another indie retailer)

Preloved closes shop (and Queen West loses another indie retailer)

(Image: Preloved/Facebook) (Image: Preloved/Facebook)
 

Preloved, the Toronto brand that made a viable business out of turning secondhand rags into sartorial riches (or at least cute sweaters), is giving up its storefront across from Trinity Bellwoods Park. Owner Julia Grieve launched Preloved in 1995. When her first Queen West boutique was destroyed in a six-alarm blaze that tore through the block between Ryerson and Bathurst in 2008, she moved her business to its current location. Now Blog TO reports that Grieve is closing shop and switching to an all-wholesale and e-commerce model.

“19 years ago, there was no Internet,” Grieve told Blog TO. “If you wanted something really unique, you had to shop local, independent retailers. The times have changed. You can get things on the Internet. You can get things in a grocery store that are cool. So you have to be very, very competitive.”

The downside for Torontonians, of course, is that Queen West—a retail strip increasingly colonized by big brands like Joe Fresh and Urban Outfitters—will be short yet another indie boutique. On the plus side, fans will soon be able to navigate the brand’s revamped e-retail site. Also good: there will be some heavily discounted one-of-a-kind pieces at Preloved’s pre-closing warehouse sale, which runs from January 22nd to 26th. The boutique closes on January 27.