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New kid in town

Centre Square Mall's latest opening gives youth one more fashion option

Thorunn Howatt
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Aug 21/02) - There was a lineup at the door of Yellowknife's latest chain-store when it opened last week.

"Then at noon there were 30 or 40 people in here all at once," said Yannick Larocque, manager of Yellowknife's new Bootlegger store.

The denim den is located downtown in Centre Square Mall and was bustling with mostly youth shoppers. Bubbly young salespeople helped customers find the latest in back-to-school styles within the cleanly decorated store.

It's not unheard of for a large franchise like Bootlegger to move to a city as small as Yellowknife, but it is unusual. The franchise is banking on the city's growth.

"It's the booming economy. Bootlegger looks at Yellowknife like another Grand Prairie," said Larocque, referring to the northern Alberta city that exploded as a result of the Alberta oil boom.

Bootlegger has 125 stores across Canada. The company started with one boutique in Vancouver during the early '70s.

Larocque said the company wants to get involved in community events, particularly with its pet organization, BADD -- Bootlegger Against Drunk Driving. It hopes to be active at youth events at Yellowknife schools.