Edward Chapman Woman interior

Vancouver’s Edward Chapman Woman is one of very few businesses that make it to a vintage of 125 years, let alone in an industry as fickle as fashion, in a city like Vancouver. The 125th anniversary marks survival for the family-owned company — survival in many aspects. The company endured the retail “Perfect Storm” that involved five major challenges erupting over a two-year period. 

– In 2008, ECW’s largest supplier in Germany, its #1 source for core business, went into receivership
– Burberry, a regular supplier since 1918, opened a flagship store in conjunction with the 2010 Olympics, closed their account with ECW leaving ECW unable to sell Burberry products, resulting in an overnight drop in sales of $1M 
– ECW was subject to a costly, though successful lawsuit, resulting in over $500K in legal costs
– The economy collapsed
– ECW rebranded with a modern approach to fashion

Chapmans Original Hastings Store in 1890
[Original Hastings Store in 1890 with Klondike pioneers in front]

Owner John Rea saw the writing on the wall when his mother chimed in, “John, I don’t want to look old. I want to buy some nice jazzy things that make me feel good”. This signaled time to rebrand, reinvent and create. ECW’s ageless and modern approach to fashion has made the company a household name in Canada.

Edward Chapman Woman interior

To celebrate ECW’s 125th anniversary, we’re giving away a $300 gift card to one lucky winner to select from brands like Gerry Weber, Eileen Fisher, Basler, St. James, Luisa Cerano and more.

Not too many companies have survived TWO World Wars, multiple famines, the Great Depression, the Cold War, the advent and subsequent juggernaut of e-commerce as well as the numerous obstacles mentioned above.

Despite the retail Perfect Storm, Edward Chapman Woman is now thriving with their new brand mission, new brands and direction and are out on the other side. Here’s to another 125 years!


Join us in celebrating a Vancouver success story and win! To enter:
1. Follow Edward Chapman Woman and Vancouverscape on Facebook
2. Tweet the following:
Edward Chapman Woman & @Vancouverscape are giving away a $300 gift card to celebrate ECW at 125! http://bit.ly/1MTdCC8

BONUS: Find the ECW fashion image in my Instagram feed and repost it with #ECW125years

I’ll draw a winner at random on Tuesday, December 15 at 5 pm, in time for some last-minute holiday shopping. Good luck to all entrants. Contest is open to all Canadian residents but gift card is only valid in-store. CONGRATS to Samantha Reeves (@Xirconium) ~ you’re the lucky winner of the $300 gift card. Happy Holidays!


  • Comment by Samantha Reeves — December 2, 2015 @ 10:52 am

    What a neat store.

  • Comment by Jen — December 12, 2015 @ 8:36 pm

    Following on Facebook and tweeted! Such a wonderful prize!

  • Comment by miriam Edwards — December 15, 2015 @ 2:09 pm

    Great store long standing tradition in the city

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