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by Brian Morton

A U.S.-based home retailing giant is opening its first B.C. outlet in a Surrey mall on Wednesday despite recessionary times and the recent bankruptcy of rival Linens ‘n Things.

“A decision was made two-and-a-half years ago that Canada was an important market with strong growth opportunity,” Greg Dyer, regional manager for Bed Bath & Beyond in Canada, said in an interview on Monday. “We put together a game plan, and [the Vancouver area] was identified at the outset as a market that’s very important.”

The store, which opens its doors in Central City on Wednesday, is the latest retailer to join a rapid expansion at the mall, which has recruited several big-box outlets in the past year, including Best Buy, Future Shop, Winners, T & T Supermarket and The Brick.

The 30,000-square-foot store — the chain’s seventh in Canada — is the first of several Bed Bath & Beyond outlets planned for B.C.

“Our next store will be in North Vancouver adjacent to Capilano Mall,” added Dyer. “There are a number of other stores in negotiation at the moment in the [Vancouver area].”

Dyer said that a decision to expand into B.C. was not related to the recent bankruptcy of Linens ‘n Things — North America’s second-largest home-goods chain before liquidating its stores last year. “That wasn’t a factor. Vancouver has good demographics, good housing growth.”

Until now, Dyer added, the closest Bed Bath & Beyond for Vancouver shoppers was in Bellingham, Wash.

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