Suburban malls in Canada see increased sales growth

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According to a recent report from Retail Insider, suburban malls are heating up the Canadian retail industry. In its annual rankings of Canada’s most-productive shopping centres for 2015, the company saw growth among many of the country’s top complexes.

Based on annual sales per square foot of retail space, Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre won the top slot with a whopping $1,610 earned per square foot in 2015—an 18.7 per cent jump from its 2014 figure. Downtown Vancouver’s Pacific Centre, which ranked number one on the 2014 list, fell to second place with $1,599 in annual sales per square foot—a 6.7 per cent increase from the previous year. Oakridge Centre, also located in Vancouver, ranked third with $1,537 of sales per square foot, with a 10.2 per cent growth.

Of the 25 malls on the list, 11 are located in the Greater Toronto Area, four in Vancouver/Lower Mainland, two in the Montreal area, two in Calgary, and one each in Edmonton, Ft. McMurray, London, Waterloo, Ottawa and Halifax.

Farla Efros, president of HRC Advisory, notes that it has been expected that the country’s top mall properties would continue to experience sales growth, especially as they continue to renovate, expand and gain valuable new tenants. She adds that the popularity of the suburban mall has caught up to downtown shopping centres, noting that the “older, established neighbourhoods” where they are located attract “a level of wealth and income to demand certain products.”

Efros also suggests that while the low Canadian dollar is keeping Canadians shopping domestically, the entrance of many U.S. retailers into the market has also made American malls less of a “unique and differentiating experience,” adding further incentive to shop at home. CJ

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