A London Drugs store sustained damage and theft during riots following the Vancouver Canucks' loss to the Boston Bruins in the National Hockey League Stanley Cup final.

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London Drugs store takes hit in Stanley Cup riot

June 16th, 2011
London Drugs' store at Granville Street in Vancouver.

RICHMOND, British Columbia – A London Drugs store sustained damage and theft during riots following the Vancouver Canucks' loss to the Boston Bruins in the National Hockey League Stanley Cup final.

The western Canadian drug chain said its store at the intersection of Granville and Georgia streets in Vancouver was ransacked Wednesday evening in the riots after the hockey game, forcing the retailer to temporarily shut the store to gauge the damage.

During the melee in Vancouver, upset and drunken fans — angry over the Canucks' 4-0 loss in game seven of the finals — set cars and garbage cans on fire, overturned cars, smashed windows of businesses, danced atop vehicles and looted stores, and police from around the area swarmed into the downtown. About 150 people needed hospital treatment overnight, the Associated Press reported.

"We are grateful to our security staff and the assistance from the Vancouver Police Department that our staff were able to leave the store unharmed," London Drugs president and chief executive officer Wynne Powell said in a statement Thursday. "This is a sad moment in the history of Vancouver. Our Georgia and Granville street London Drugs store has suffered significant damage and will not open on time today as a result of the rioting. We need to assess the damage."

According to London Drugs, the first floor of the Granville/Georgia store was "hit hard," including food, housewares and cosmetics items. The retailer said there also was "significant theft" on the second floor, which has a vast amount of cameras, computer and electronics products.

"At this time, it is difficult to put an exact dollar amount on the damage and theft the store has suffered, but it will be significant," London Drugs stated.

On its Facebook page, London Drugs said in a posting Thursday: "There has been extensive damage to our Georgia and Granville location. The store staff has been tirelessly working to clean it up all night and morning. We are currently closed but are planning on opening at some point today."

Meanwhile, the chain directed pharmacy customers to its Robson Street location for prescriptions.

A posting on London Drugs' page on Facebook reported that the Granville/Georgia store was open for business again on Thursday afternoon.

London Drugs added that it will work with the Vancouver Police Department to review all security surveillance. The chain said its security cameras have "sharp, clean images" of the more than 200 rioters that ransacked its store.

The retailer noted that it had made security preparations for game seven of the Stanley Cup finals, including having eight extra security officers on staff and the same resistant glass and metal grill barriers in place for the 2010 Olympics.

"We felt we were prepared, but the sheer number and force of the rioters far exceeded the Georgia/Granville corridor's barrier capabilities," Powell stated. "We are thankful the Vancouver Police Department were able to protect our staff. That is our No. 1 priority."

Overall, London Drugs has 75 stores in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.