Downtown Vancouver consignment store closes due to crime, disorder

The owner of a high-end consignment store in downtown Vancouver is closing up shop, saying she’s tired of the crime and disorder.

Courtney Watkins’ store, Mine and Yours, has been at its location near Howe and Nelson streets for nearly eight years, and has been dealing with an increase in vandalism.

“We have so many amazing memories over the past 7 years on Howe Street — it started with a small but mighty team of five almost 8 years ago in the middle of Vancouver’s growing downtown core,” she stated on social media.

“However, with growth comes changes and our beloved Howe St store started to see many challenges for our business in the area. The decision to close Howe has come as the safety of our team and clients continues to be a growing concern, and we’ve accepted that the Howe Street we once knew isn’t coming back — a place that felt safe for community and friendships to be made.”

Watkins cites violence, such as an increase in the use of pepper spray around the store and windows being smashed, as a reason why to shutter the doors.

Reaction to the closure has been mixed, with some online believing Watkins is overstating the impact of social disorder in downtown Vancouver. Others, however, believe she’s right to shutter up shop, blaming everything from City Hall, the Vancouver Police Department, and the justice system for systemic failures like the lack of affordable housing and addiction.

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