Skip to content

Steveston Chinese dress shop shuttering after only five months

Vancouver-based Ochi Chinese Fashion expanded to Richmond due to customer demand, says owner.

A Vancouver business specializing in traditional Chinese fashion and prom dresses is retreating from its Richmond location just over five months after opening.

Ochi Chinese Fashion first opened its doors in 2005 on Vancouver's East Pender Street, boasting a catalogue of quality garments designed and produced in-house.

Its Steveston outpost opened in December 2023, but when the Richmond News walked past the store on May 30, signs at the door were seen announcing a clearance sale.

"We're moving back to Vancouver," read the signs.

"A lot of our customers told us they didn't want to go to Chinatown and suggested we open a shop in Richmond," owner Wendy Yang told the News.

Yang had chosen to expand to Steveston because it was a tourist destination with a large Asian population.

It also seemed more appropriate for her need to cater to a wider range of customers compared to Richmond city centre. Ochi has an "even mix of Chinese and non-Chinese customers" thanks to its inclusive sizing and designs, she explained.

"We didn't expect it to turn out like this," said Yang.

She told the News it's a "difficult time" for her business, attributing it to the lack of tourists and the cost of living crisis.

"Maybe it's because our products aren't suitable (for this location)... We're not getting any tourists and no one is buying anything," said Yang.

"We can't survive anymore."

She suggested the market might be more appropriate for other businesses such as restaurants and shops selling trinkets.

"This is not the right place (for our products) and we can't afford (to stay)," said Yang, adding that she's holding on until she can find someone to take over her location.

Got an opinion on this story or any others in Richmond? Send us a letter or email your thoughts or story tips to [email protected]. To stay updated on Richmond news, sign up for our daily headline newsletter