Curriculum Vitae for Philip Nyren
1979 to 2015 British Importers & Philip Nyren Menswear & Womenswear
Summer of 1979 – While working at a rival menswear shop, I was asked to join the staff at British Importers, a long-standing, high end men’s wear store on Government St.
Fall of 1982 – I became a junior partner in the business, joining the two senior partners and another junior shareholder, Arthur Naubert, who would remain my friend and partner for many years to come.
1984 – I came up with a concept for a type of younger, hipper men’s store but with a quality and service level equal to that of British Importers. After a bit of back and forth, it came to be that BI opened a new kind of store, smaller, cooler, and this time on Broad St. We called it BI Sport. An immediate success, BI then opened three more BI Sport stores in Vancouver in 1985.
1986 – Arthur and I bought British Importers Ltd from the two senior partners, who would continue to own and operate the BI Sport stores.
May/June 1987 – The building that BI operated in, right on the corner of Fort and Government Streets, was torn down. Along with the store, the entire city block from Government to Broad St, from Fort to View Streets, was torn down in order to make way for what is now the Bay Centre. It took two years to finish the first building phase, which was Government St to Broad St, with the second phase, Broad to Douglas St, finishing a year later.
March 15, 1989 – With a great deal of pride and anticipation, British Importers reopened just steps north from it’s previous location, right on Government St.
BI was again open for business and in a new, beautiful 4,000 square feet space, where we stayed until we ran out of room 15 years later.
2004 – Two buildings at 960/962 Yates Street came up for sale, which Arthur and I purchased. The buildings had been used as a plumbing supply operation since before WW2 and a major facelift was needed. In the end, $1.3 million was spent on the renovations needed for an exciting and modern clothing store.
September 2005 – The new store opened in 12,500 square feet of first class, state of the art retail operations and a parking lot for up to 20 cars at a time.
Winter 2008 – Arthur Naubert retires and I become the sole owner of British Importers.
September 2009 – After much discussion and deliberation we rename the store Philip Nyren Menswear & Womenswear.
February 2015 – The buildings were sold to a real estate development company and so, the store closed its doors for what turned out to be the last time.
October 2016 – Licensed as a professional REALTOR® in British Columbia and joined Macdonald Realty
OTHER RETAIL BUSINESSES
Three Sheets – 1988 – Open at 1237 Government St
Street Jeanswear – Opened 1988 – Sold 2003 – 1241 Government St
Master Clothiers – Opened 1994 – Closed 1998 – 784 Fort Street
PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS & AWARDS
- Director of the original BIA in throughout the 1990s
- Founder and President of the Fashion Senate Group, a national association of high-end clothing & apparel stores from 1996 to 2015
- Director of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce 2003 & 2004
- Director, Founder and Chair of the Chamber’s Downtown Marketing Committee 2003-2004.
- First runner up for Business Person of the Year 2004
- Speaker at the UN in Geneva for committee meetings on Poverty Alleviation and Gender Equality as the sole North American participant in 2004
- Business Person of the Year 2005
- The store was corporate member of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce from 1989-2015.
- British Importers was awarded the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year 2006
- British Importers was nominated by the Victoria Chamber of Commerce as BC Small Business of the Year for 2007
MEMBERSHIPS (past & present)
- Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce
- Retail Merchants Association of BC
- Canadian Federation of Independent Business
- Tourism Victoria
- Better Business Bureau of Greater Victoria
- Victoria Capital Club
- Capital City Executive Association
- Port Alberni Chamber of Commerce
- Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB)
- Real Estate Council of British Columbia (RECBC)
- British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA)
- Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA)
- Licensed Developer/Builder, BC Housing’s Homeowner Protection Plan (HPO)
- Pacific Home Warranty Member