Outlet Craze Set to Hit Canada

March 23, 2012

The Canadian retail landscape is about to change in a big way.

First came the announcements from major US based developers, Simon and Tanger, that both companies will build a series of outlet centres, in Canada. Then more recently, came the announcement that Europe's largest outlet developer, MacArthurGlen, will be developing, an outlet centre in Vancouver (close to the airport). But that's not all. Ivanhoe Cambridge (owners of Vaughan and CrossIron Mills, as well as, a host of top Canadian super regional centres) announced last year, that they would be opening outlet centres in Niagara  as well as one in Tewassan (BC); Tanger has purchased the Cookstown Outlet Factory in Innisfil (ON) and will completely renovate the mall, and double its size. US based Cordish Company has tweaked their plans for Woodbine Live (in Toronto), and will now open an outlet mall on the site. As well, there's much discussion in Montreal of late, regarding Lac Mirabel. It is highly anticipated that this site will soon become a Premium one (no pun intended). While I am sure there are many more projects to be announced, I think you get the picture.

Canada has become the world's largest outlet hotspot.

Of course, as a Canadian, I could not be more pleased. For years, Canadians have been forced to flock to border cities in droves, and have spent major monies in US outlet centres (Woodbury Commons, Fashion Outlets at Niagara Falls, Sawgrass Mills, Las Vegas Premium...etc). The importance of the Canadian shoppers to these projects cannot be understated (as you will see from these articles). At home, there is tremendous pent up demand on the part of these shoppers, who desperately crave these for top US and international retail brands. In this respect, it should come as no surprise that our international clients perform 20-25% greater sales in their Canadian stores than they do (on average) in the US or Europe locations. I would be re-miss not to point out that there are other market factors that contribute to this great success, such as there are far fewer regional & super regional malls in Canada, as compared to the US. Notwithstanding, you can't argue with success.

With new projects, there will certainly be new brands and concepts that will be introduced in Canada. Polo Outlet, Under Armour, Vans, Converse, Kenneth Cole, Elie Taharai, 7 For All Mankind...etc; all have either committed or in discussion for locations. Further, top international brands such as Michael Kors, Brooks Brothers, Nike, Coach, Banana Republic, Uggs, Calvin Klein, Cole Haan ...etc have likely finalized several new agreements.

Pursuant to the above, I have attached for your review, 3 great articles from VRN magazine:

1. MacArthur Glen Grabs Vancouver
2. Tanger, Riocan Acquire Canadian Outlet Centre
3. Outlets See the Value in Canadian Shoppers

I trust you will find these articles informative.

At Think Retail,  we specialize in developing Canadian market entry strategies for US and international retailers. We have successfully implemented national real estate plans for a plethora of top retail brands such as Fossil, Watch Station, Pinkberry, Le Creuset, American Apparel, Bare Escentuals...etc. Further, on our clients behalf, we secure flagship retail locations in all major Canadian cities. In addition, we provide our partners with timely market information regarding rents and trends, individual retailer sales, and mapping services (as required). Also, as you are now aware, there is not a real estate brokerage firm in the world who promote their clients' successes, louder than us.

Simply put, we are a boutique styled brokerage firm who leave no stone un-turned when it comes to enabling our clients to make great real estate decisions, as well as, prudent financial ones.

In May, I will be attending the ICSC conference in Las Vegas. I would be pleased to meet with you to exchange ideas on the Canadian retail\real estate market. Please call to schedule an appointment.

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