Everything Baby

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Marrakesh Design’s old spot on Arbutus (2675 Arbutus Street @ West 11th) has been taken over by…drumroll…a baby store. It was that or a condo sales centre I guess.

In all fairness though, Pebble Baby is a great looking store that focuses on sustainable and local products. They primarily offer clothing, bath products , toys, bedding, etc., and it doesn’t look like they will carry things like furniture and strollers. If you are looking for funky and sustainable clothing or toys, and budget is less of an issue, then by all means this might be to store for you.

Seeing as we are currently up to our ears in babies and toddler, I have compiled a brief overview of some (all?) of Kitsilano’s baby-focused retailers.

In no particular order:

  • Probably our favourite baby store is Crocodile Baby (2156 West 4th @ Yew). A great selection of functional, stylish, and high quality products combined with wonderful customer service make this baby store stand out. Sure, Crocodile goes for style and quality over budget, but most of their items actually tend to be cheaper than at competitor stores and because their products have such a long life expectancy they retain a very decent resale value. Definitely our number 1 pick.
  • Just down the street is Hipbaby (2110 West 4th @ Arbutus). Also a great store, with some great functional items such as blankets and sleepers. The particularly specialize in sustainable diaper options, but also have a decent selection of toys, bath items, baby table wear, clothing, sleep wear, strollers, etc. In all quite a nice store, but customer service can be somewhat spotty at times.
  • New arrival Tomatoes Children’s Footwear still has me a little puzzled. It’s a beautiful looking store that has a great selection if toddler shoes, but it just seems a little too minimalistic. What also doesn’t help is that we are loyal customers of The Shoe Box at Granville Island’s Kids Market.
  • Moving west along 4th, Babes on Fourth (2354 West 4th @ Balsam) offers mainly designer brand clothing and some functional items like slings and carriers. We’ve gone in occasionally, but given that our kids walk around in their cousins’ hand-me-downs, we can’t justify the prices for these generally very nice clothes. The sales rack in the back of the store is also worth checking out.

Two stores along the eastern part of West 4th that carry baby stuff in addition to their regular offering:

  • Moulé (1994 West 4th @ Maple), who a while back added some space to their store and dedicated most of it to funky and overpriced baby clothing and toys. Fun to look at for sure, but not something we would spend our money on.
  • Newcomer The Earth Collection (2190 West 4th @ Yew) also carries some baby and kids items that look well made, sustainable, and functional. Haven’t gone in yet to check it out in more detail.

Moving down to the MacFourth area:

  • Probably the only store in Kits that can compete with Babies R Us in terms of selection and price is TJ’s the Kiddies Store (2737 West 4th @ Stephens). They really do have an amazing selection of just about everything, and if the West 4th location doesn’t have it, you can always go down to the SW Marine Drive warehouse. Although we have bought a fair amount of stuff at TJ’s, one thing we have noticed is that their customer service is very person dependent. We have had both fantastic and horrendous customer service, often in the same location. I guess the lower prices come with a price of their own. And as mentioned in an earlier post, we really weren’t impressed how they “handled” the BPA in baby bottles issue.
  • Nesting Kids (2835 West 4th @ MacDonald) offers mainly kids room furniture, primarily focusing on slightly older kids. They do sell cribs though, and there style is a lot more traditional and classic than the cribs one can find at, say, Crocodile.
  • Bobbits for Kids (2935 West 4th @ Bayswater) has some really nice baby clothing and is often a good place to look for things like sleepers, hats, shoes, etc. And they have great and friendly customer service. When we were looking for a particular sleeper for our son that they were having a hard time to get, they called several competitors around the Lower Mainland to see if they had any in stock.
  • Nima’ma (2938 West 4th @ Bayswater) deserves a special mention for their amazing collection of beautiful maternity and nursing clothing. They also carry a small number of baby and kids items, such as organic tees, kids’ wraps, massage oil, and little bracelets.

Moving up to West Broadway:

  • Please Mum (2951 West Broadway @ Bayswater) offers some simple and affordable toddler and kids clothing. Think local GAP Kids. We have found some good deals there, but their clothing doesn’t always hold up to the daily wear and tear that a two year old imposes on them.
  • Luna Winters (3073 West Broadway @ Balaclava) is an eclectic clothing store that looks more like a kids boutique than anything else. When we went in a few weeks ago, all we found inside was another customer and the alarm blaring. Turned out the owner decided to have lunch at Calhoun’s and leave the store – and potential customers – unattended. Haven’t been back since

West Broadway also features two great non-clothing, non-furniture kids retail stores:

  • Kidsbooks (3083 West Broadway @ Balaclava) has an awesome collection of books for all ages. It’s impossible to go in and not walk out with at least one or two beautiful new books. And the staff is amazingly friendly and helpful.
  • The Toy Box (3002 West Broadway @ Carnarvon) is definitely our preferred toy store. Sometimes it’s hard to avoid Toys R Us altogether, but the Toy Box has a great selection of quality toys. Our son is currently addicted to the Schleich animals.

I’m pretty sure that pretty much covers Kits baby and toddler retail offerings. Did I miss anything?

Last modified: August 30, 2008

4 Responses to " Everything Baby "

  1. Rider says:

    Yawn…
    More kids stores…
    So long as they aren’t being run by the women at TJ’s who are undoubtedly the least customer oriented employees in any industry, whom I have ever met…

  2. MamaJ says:

    Pebble Rocks!
    There was a great selection of products we have not found anywhere else in Kits and there was plenty of room for us to browse with our stroller (and we’ve got a double).
    Customer service was top notch and we actually found the prices to be quite reasonable.
    If you’re in the market for this sort of thing I would highly recommend you pay them visit.

  3. celo_305 says:

    Interesting… I think Crocodile sucks. Way way overpriced, and some of the most stuck-up sales staff ever. But hey, they’re your favourite. And I’m sure it has nothing to do with ad they purchased. Right on the same page even. Subtle.

  4. Erik V. says:

    @Celo_305: had you read the post when it was published, you would have noticed no such ad. Crocodile decided to purchase ad space *after* I wrote this post. Nothing subtle about it.