Many of Canada’s top shopping centres are doing better than ever thanks to recent enhancements and the addition of more upscale retailers, according to a new Retail Insider report.
Some top Canadian performers have taken a similar route to success by reinventing themselves through replacing former anchor tenants that have seen better days — such as Sears and Zellers — and replaced them with mini-anchors that have smaller footprints but high sales. The report cited a prime example in Apple Stores, which in some Canadian malls see sales exceeding $50 million in only 5,000 to 10,000 square feet of space.
Another way that successful malls have managed to improve their performance is to add elements to compete with online shopping and power centres, including upgraded food and dining options, enhanced movie theatres, valet parking, concierges and other amenities intended to provide shoppers with convenience and more pleasurable experiences.
Sales at Vancouver’s Pacific Centre rose from $1,335 per square foot in 2013 to $1,498 last year, giving it the honour of being Canada’s top-performing mall.
Thrilled to be No. 1
Pacific Centre property manager Kim Ficocelli told RENX she was thrilled with the ranking.
“We’ve been working diligently to attract high-calibre international brands to the centre, brands that are a destination for our shoppers and create a natural cross-shop with our successful luxury retailers such as Holt Renfrew and Harry Rosen,” she said.
Pacific Centre will expand this summer and introduce All Saints, Ted Baker, Kate Spade, Hugo Boss, Microsoft, Weekend Maxmara, B2, Pandora, Tumi, Abercrombie & Fitch, Disney and Rockport stores to its mix. High-end American fashion retailer Nordstrom will open at the mall in September.
“There has definitely been an influx of tourists that have been coming to Vancouver, both international and domestic, that has attributed to the centre’s performance,” Ficocelli said.
“On top of our trusted cruise ship tourists, we are witnessing an increase in American tourists shopping north of the border, especially given the fluctuating currency. This strengthened tourism, coupled with a growing number of large-scale conventions in the city, has additionally attributed to the centre’s success.”
Other malls showing healthy sales increases included: Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre ($1,300 to $1,356); Toronto Eaton Centre ($1,275 to $1,420); Vancouver’s Oakridge Shopping Centre ($1,132 to $1,395); and Calgary’s Chinook Centre ($1,108 to $1,125). Canada’s first Nordstrom location opened at Chinook Centre last September.
Although West Edmonton Mall‘s sales were $725 per square foot in total, they were about $1,200 per square foot when excluding Phases I and IV, according to the report’s sources.
In comparison, Forbes recently listed its top 10 performing American malls. Bal Harbour Shops in the Miami suburb of Bal Harbour was on top with sales of more than U.S.$3,000 per square foot. Other top properties included The Grove in Los Angeles ($2,100), Pioneer Place in Portland, Ore., ($1,855), the Woodbury Common outlet mall near New York City ($1,550), Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas ($1,515) and Aventura Mall in Miami ($1,500).
Here’s Retail Insider’s list of the most productive Canadian malls, by sales per square foot, in 2014:
* 1. Pacific Centre, Vancouver: $1,498;
* 2. Toronto Eaton Centre, Toronto: $1,420;
* 3. Oakridge Shopping Centre, Vancouver: $1,395;
* 4. Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto: $1,356;
* 5. Southgate Shopping Centre, Edmonton: $1,157;
* 6. Chinook Centre, Calgary: $1,125;
* 7. Rideau Centre, Ottawa: $1,008;
* 8. Holt Renfrew Centre, Toronto: “over $1,000,” says landlord;
* 9. Market Mall, Calgary: $942;
* 10. Sherway Gardens, Toronto: $935;
* 11. Square One, Mississauga: $910;
* 12. Metropolis at Metrotown, Burnaby: $886;
* 13. Polo Park, Winnipeg: $873;
* 14. Peter Pond Mall, Fort McMurray: $870;
* 15. Le Carrefour Laval, Laval: $865;
* 16. Fairview Mall, Toronto: $843;
* 17. Richmond Centre, Richmond: $833;
* 18. Royal Bank Plaza, Toronto: $820;
* 19. Toronto Dominion Centre, Toronto: $818;
* 20. Bayview Village, Toronto: $810.