Edmonton bricks-and-mortar retail sector seeing 'positive growth'

Market is overcoming challenges from e-commerce and troubled economy, says Cushman & Wakefield

Western Investor
October 22, 2019

Loblaws City Market
A 22,000-square-foot Loblaws City Market will open in Edmonton’s ICE District in a year. | Submitted

Edmonton’s bricks-and-mortar retail scene is overcoming challenges from e-commerce and a troubled economy, according to a report from Cushman & Wakefield.

“The Alberta economy is starting to show signs of positive growth,” the report noted, adding that the retail landscape is attracting both international and local retailers. U.S.-based cosmetic firm Morphe, Canada Goose and Japan-based Uniqlo are among the known brand names that are setting up shop, Cushman & Wakefield said.

The food and beverage sector has seen several restaurants open and the growth of grocery stores is being led by the construction of a 22,000-square-foot Loblaws City Market outlet that completes in the fall of 2020 in the downtown ICE District.

Cannabis is another active area, with 26 retail licences approved so far in the city.

Edmonton’s retail vacancy rate is expected to remain stable as “developers remain cautious on building new retail properties in greenfield sites and transit-oriented areas,” the report noted.

One big space will be in play next year, when Holt Renfrew leaves the Edmonton downtown area.

Much of the new development is taking place in the suburban big-box space.

The Currents of Windermere shopping centre in southwest Edmonton, for instance, is developing 1.2 million square feet of retail with Walmart, Cabela’s and Home Depot as anchors.

Walmart is also opening a new store in the Harvest Pointe Shopping Centre in the southeast, while Canadian Tire is opening soon in Sherwood Park and has a new location in Manning Town Centre and Village.

Recently, the North Central Co-op opened a 43,077-square-foot grocery store at Chappelle Commons on the southeast edge of the city.

This summer a Louis Vuitton boutique opened in West Edmonton mall and other luxury brands are expected to follow, according to a separate report in the Retail Insider.

Alberta retail sales continue strong, with $6.3 billion reported in May of this year, the second highest in Western Canada.

“Overall asking rents [for Edmonton retail space] will likely stabilize, if not slightly increase, due to high retail activity,” Cushman & Wakfield’s Marketbeat report concluded.

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