Described as a Chinese Walmart, The Best Shop recently opened its doors at the New Horizon Mall as eager shoppers lined up to get into the 15,000-square-foot store.
The brand is the first anchor tenant to open in the mall, which is across from the CrossIron Mills shopping centre in Balzac, along Highway 2 north of Calgary.
The presence of The Best Shop, on the west side of the mall, is expected to give New Horizon a boost both in traffic as well as attracting new businesses to the mall.
The mall is a collection of small businesses, family enterprises and local entrepreneurs.
“At times, we were a little overwhelmed but are excited at how quickly shoppers here embraced our concept,” said Jimmy Chen, owner and founder of The Best Shop. “As word gets out about our products and prices, more people will visit to see our selection and the value for themselves.”
Scott Smith, general manager of New Horizon, said the addition of The Best Shop brings the total stores in the steadily-growing mall to 86, with 28 more stores and two new food court additions set to open soon. The new stores are in various stages of planning, permitting and construction, with expected opening within the next couple of months.
Smith described The Best Shop’s recent opening as “wildly successful.”
“The Best Shop offers a huge variety of unique products at really good prices and we share the same goal – to create a shopping experience unlike any other. This opening will increase the number of shopper visits to the mall,” said Smith.
“It is a very unique store. It’s got a lot of product in there that you could only probably find in his store. A lot of it is coming from Asia. So it’s rather unique Asian product. Some of the categories would be health and beauty products, some clothing in there, some children’s wear, kitchenware, household items such as small appliances and other unique items from Asian manufacturers that I’ve never seen and that they’re probably unique to the Calgary market.
“Having The Best Shop means a lot for the mall. First of all, it’s our first big anchor store to open. They are aggressive with respect to their marketing and their advertising. They have a decent following. They’re drawing a lot of people and I think that’s going to really help the mall because there’s a lot of people who have come to the store that might not have been exposed to New Horizon Mall yet. Giving them really the first opportunity to see what it’s all about.”
New Horizon’s concept – a first in Alberta – has spaces bought by investors and retailers as opposed to being leased by the developer.
“The more that we see some of the smaller stores opening, there’s going to be people coming to the mall itself and find The Best Shop, which is fairly aggressive in its advertising and promoting of products. Jimmy, the owner of the business, has a lot of creative marketing ideas. I’m excited about what they’re doing there and I think they’re going to be a big help to the mall,” said Smith.
The Best Shop products include a fully equipped Mahjong table. Recently featured in the Hollywood movie Crazy Rich Asians, the strategy-based game features Chinese symbols on tiles. The store also has the smallest washing machine ever seen for about $100.