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B.C. surpasses Alberta in retail sales

For the first time in a decade, B.C. outsold the top-performing Prairie province
retail gastown
Canadian retail sales in 2016 out-performed projected growth by $15 billion, according to a new report by Colliers International, to the tune of  $550 billion in sales national. Canada’s “Big 4” provinces – British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec – account for 86 per cent of Canadian sales. Most notably, B.C. outsold Alberta for the first time this decade. 
Retail sales in B.C. grew 7.2 per cent from the first quarter of 2016 to first quarter 2017. Sales in 2016 hit $76 billion, eclipsing Alberta’s $75 billion in retail transactions. Although Alberta sales dropped from 2015 to 2016, sales in the Q1 2017 have increased 7.2 per cent year-over year.
Saskatchewan’s 2017 sales are ramping up, seeing a 6 per cent sales growth this quarter over last year. Last year’s sales totaled $19 billion, growing 2.2 per cent over 2015. 
Manitoba sales are experiencing significantly lower first quarter growth when compared to last year. Sales grew 7.3 per cent in 2016, and only 1.8 per cent in Q1 2017. 
Colliers’ report notes that most suburban malls across Canada are undergoing major redevelopments, adding substantial retail square footage and incorporation residential towers. 
“Regional shopping centres near major markets are particularly well-positioned for future development, occupying large sites of 50 to 100 acres in urban or suburban areas,” the report notes. “All it takes is a shake-up in tenancies, changes to the competitive landscape, new ownership or a regular review of the mall's strategic plan to set the wheels in motion.”
The report suggests the future of retail centres across Canada lies in redevelopment of malls into mixed-use town centres. Calgary’s Chinock Centre has expanded by 180,000 square feet and 60 new retailers, bolstering the province’s overall retail sales growth.