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Moncton Retailer Confirms Plans For Former Hilfiger Haunt

By Sam Macdonald Dec 12, 2022 | 8:21 AM


A longtime local home audio-video retailer already has plans for the space once occupied by Tommy Hilfiger.

Georgio Paulin, owner of Sounds Fantastic, confirmed his plans to move the business into the 5,000-square-foot berth at Moncton’s Mapleton Center that Tommy Hilfiger vacated in late November.

“Basically we found out in September that it was going to be available towards the end of this year,” he said.

Paulin had to sign a non-disclosure agreement because, at the time, not even the staff at the former Tommy Hilfiger location knew of what was to come.

Technically, they could have renewed their lease as late as October 31st,” said Paulin.

That didn’t happen; a former supervisor employed at the fashion giant’s former 62 Wyse Street perch confirmed the chain’s plans to close in early November, amid a final clearance sale.

Tommy Hilfiger, once a tenant at the CF Champlain mall in Dieppe, moved across the city in 2016 until its November 20th closure.

Paulin says his plan to move the 43-year-old retail business from its location at 48 Bonaccord Street was informed by a shift in the kind of businesses he’s seeing becoming more prevalent in the downtown area – where he’s still currently located.

“We’re seeing that the shopping downtown has more become for entertainment and tourism – and less retail,” he said.

“This has been planned for about five years.”

Sounds Fantastic specializes in a variety of home electronics and entertainment, including home theatres, speakers, and televisions, retailing prominent audio-visual brands like Samsung, Sony, Sonos and Yamaha.

Paulin stressed that what he will be offering at the Mapleton Center will be unique.

“We’ve been all over the country and we’ve looked at some of the nice stores in Ontario and Quebec. I really feel that we’re going to have one of the coolest audio-video stores east of Montreal,” said Paulin.

Part of the store’s appeal, he said, will be branded areas, adding: “There will be a complete Samsung experience center in the store, for example. It’s not just going to be a mishmash of all of our TVs.”

“There’ll be products displayed in order of quality, explaining the differences.”

Paulin said his original plan was to move Sounds Fantastic to a 3,600-square-foot berth between Structube and La Vie En Rose in the same commercial complex.

“Then, all of a sudden, the opportunity for the Tommy space came up and that kind of changed the plan,” he said.

That said, Sounds Fantastic will be moving into the first 3,600-square-foot space Paulin chose, while fit-up work is carried out on its permanent home.

Paulin expects to be in the former Tommy Hilfiger space by April.

When moved in, Paulin will be neighbours with a pop-up shop whose Swiss transplant owner is mulling a more permanent presence in Moncton.

Paulin said the former Tommy space requires “a fair amount” of fit-up work, informed by the design expertise of local architects with Spitfire Design.

“We have to build sound rooms and things like that,” he noted.

Paulin plans to bolster his staff of four next year, with a couple of new hires right away and eventually plans to have twice as many working for him by summer.

Sam Macdonald is a Reporter for Huddle Today, a content-sharing partner of Acadia Broadcasting.


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