The more things change, the more they stay the same

Expect the Tamarack Centre’s new facelift to be completed by the end of fall, 2017

The Tamarack Centre's new exterior

Most of the Tamarack Centre’s renovations will be completed by the end of fall, 2017. — Kyle Born photo

At 40 years old, the Tamarack Centre isn’t going through a mid-life crisis, just a makeover. 

Forty years is a milestone any way you look at it. Times have changed over the years, and the Tamarack Centre has adjusted and adapted to suit the needs of modern shoppers. The latest developments see the mall in a better light, literally and figuratively. New floors, ceilings, walls, doors, signage and lighting—amongst other modifications—have cemented the East Kootenay’s mall as the premier shopping destination in the region.

This newspaper clipping is from 1978, marking the mall’s one-year anniversary.

A lot has changed since the Tamarack Centre’s inception. This newspaper clipping is from 1978, marking the mall’s one-year anniversary. — Image courtesy Linda Birch

Competition has never been stiffer or easier to access thanks to online shopping. So how does a mall survive and thrive beyond 40 years? “Retail is always having to adapt to the consumer,” said Linda Birch, with the Tamarack Centre administration. “But changing with the times is a positive change. Our tenant mix has adapted and changed as we continue to accommodate our customers. We have added services such as the lab, doctors’ clinic and movie theatre to our mix. We offer not only retail, but enhance the life of the consumer.”

Tamarack Centre interior front entrance

The seamless transition from the mall to the store is just one of the benefits that has business owners excited. — Kyle Born photo

Recognition and location have a lot to do with why the Tamarack Centre is still here. “We are ‘The Mall’—a local and regional draw on the ‘Strip,’ ” Birch said. “We still remain the hub of retail that we were back in 1977. We are one of Cranbrook’s top employers and a stopping point for tourists. We are a solid, stable shopping destination.”

Linda Birch

Linda Birch with the Tamarack Centre administration. — Photo courtesy Linda Birch

It’s the Peoples that make the difference

Businesses within the Tamarack Centre have come and gone in the past 40 years—with the exception of two stores: Coles and Peoples. Kyla Beauchamp, the manager at Peoples, provided valuable insight into how her business is timeless. “We build lasting relationships with guests,” she said. “We’re there for all of life’s momentous occasions: births, anniversaries, Mother’s Day. We’ll have a baby come in and they’ll get a baby bangle or their ears pierced, then they have graduation, then they get married. We’re involved with them their whole life and that’s really rewarding.”

Tamarack Centre interior mall rear entrance

The floors are bright, white and clean, allowing a lot of air and light in. The mall's entrance doors are now all automatic. — Kyle Born photo

Happy, happy, happy

Change for the sake of change isn’t a recipe for success. The Tamarack Centre initiated the remodelling with a purpose in mind. “We were a tired property with an outdated decor,” said Birch. “People like to shop in a bright, modern environment. By offering Cranbrook and area the best overall shopper experience—which includes a beautiful, modern look in a comfortable environment—we create and maintain a loyal customer base. Happy customers make happy businesses.” 

Kyle Born

Kyle Born is a writer for Kootenay Business and his initials match that of the magazine—it must be fate that brought them together. View all of Kyle Born’s articles

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