Fort McMurray undergoes retail rebranding

Goal is to attract global, big-brand retailers to city with one of the highest average household incomes in Canada

Western Investor
January 14, 2020


Fort McMurray has launched a rebranding effort in a bid to attract global retailers to a city with one of the highest average household incomes in Canada.

The announcement last month came on the same day as the official re-groundbreaking for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

As of 2018, the regional municipality of Wood Buffalo had an overall population of 111,687. That total was down from 125,032 residents in 2015. Fort McMurray, urban centre of the region, has about 66,000 residents. 

The average annual household income in Fort McMurray is $189,458, according to Statistics Canada, compared with a national average of $70,300. 

Kevin Weidlich, CEO and president of the Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corp., announced the campaign, saying the region will try to “aggressively attract international brand retailers” to Alberta’s oilsands city.

New retail stores would help convince residents to spend their money locally rather than driving to Edmonton or ordering online, he said. 

“Our plan is to share the story of Fort McMurray and the benefit that the oilsands provide to the country,” Weidlich said. “That’s part of awakening Canada to the importance of Fort McMurray.

“Getting pipes in the ground benefits the country, and every Canadian citizen needs to understand that.” 

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