In an effort to adapt to retail trends and develop shopping experiences, Charlottetown’s downtown shopping mall is evolving to support their “destination” strategy. The Confederation Court Mall is offering much more than simply retail, including a daycare and a fitness centre.
Owner Dyne Holdings and CEO Richard Homburg purchased the complex 10 years ago, facing challenges as well as opportunities with the changing retail environment.
“There’s been a lot of press recently about big box malls and malls across North America shutting down, which is very much true and those tend to cater to the big box stores,” explains Dyne Holdings marketing coordinator Jay Noble. “We’ve been thriving because we’re really, well, we’re local.”
The developments at Confederation Court Mall will also include the redesigning of the food court space that, more recently, has been unused.
“When the mall opened it really made sense to have a food court in the mall. And a lot of times the food court here was packed with people, but when you come in the mall now you see a lot of empty chairs. And the food court is really not as vibrant as it used to be not because the mall isn’t doing so well, but it’s just more because of the changing downtown area,”
“Right now we’re looking to do more with the food court area and we’re looking to kind of change this area around so you’ll see more in the next few years,” adds Noble.
Along with reinventing the food court space, developers are facing the challenge of filling in spaces as the tenant turnover fluctuates. “It wasn’t a matter of them not doing really well here, it was more them wanting to expand,” says Noble about the mixing of businesses. “Compared to past years, we’ve really been strong. It’s exciting to see that we don’t have a lot of empty space left.”
“Having a vibrant mall, having a good mix of tenants is really not just important for us as a mall, but really important for the Charlottetown downtown area and to really build up for our future,” he adds.
In addition to filling up the mall with new tenants, existing stores will also be expanding into larger spaces, including Kitchens Unlimited, Eclipse, and Uptown Shoes.
Along with retailers, the mall also wants to connect with the Confederation Centre of the Arts to continue their expansions and “destination” strategy to draw in traffic.
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