Although some may claim that shopping centres are dying, Canada's top malls are doing better than ever. The following is a list of Canada's 20 most productive shopping centres.
It's not surprising that most are located in Canada's largest and wealthiest cities. Of the 20 malls, nine are in the Toronto area, four are in the Vancouver area, and two are in Calgary. Only one mall was located outside of a large city.
Here's our list of top Canadian malls by sales per square foot, annually:
1) Pacific Centre, Vancouver, BC: $1,498
2) Toronto Eaton Centre, Toronto, ON: $1,420
3) Oakridge Shopping Centre, Vancouver, BC: $1,395
4) Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto, ON: $1,356
5) Southgate Shopping Centre, Edmonton, AB: $1,117
6) Chinook Centre, Calgary, AB: $1,083
7) Rideau Centre, Ottawa, ON: $1,002
8) Holt Renfrew Centre, Toronto, ON: "over $1,000" says landlord.
9) Market Mall, Calgary, AB: $942
10) Sherway Gardens, Toronto, ON: $935
11) Square One, Mississauga, ON: $910
12) Peter Pond Mall, Ft. McMurray, AB: $887
13) Metropolis at Metrotown, Burnaby, BC: $886
14) Polo Park, Winnipeg, MB: $873
15) Le Carrefour Laval, Laval, QC: $865
16) Fairview Mall, Toronto, ON: $843
17) Richmond Centre, Richmond, BC: $833
18) Royal Bank Plaza, Toronto ON: $820
19) Toronto Dominion Centre, Toronto, ON: $818
20) Bayview Village, Toronto, ON: $810
Sources say that although West Edmonton Mall's sales are $725 per square foot in total, sales are about $1,200 per square foot when excluding Phases I and IV.
Our most recent numbers show substantial gains at several Canadian malls. Last year we reported that sales at Pacific Centre were $1335 per square foot, Yorkdale at $1,300 per square foot, Toronto Eaton Centre at $1,275 per square foot, Oakridge Centre at $1,132 per square foot, and Calgary's Chinook Centre at $1,108 per square foot. Canada's first Nordstrom location opened at Chinook Centre last September.
For the past two years, we've discussed top North American malls, where about half were Canadian. Because of recent currency fluctuations, we've decided to limit our research to Canadian mall properties. That, and, new numbers show that some top American malls boast significantly higher sales than Canada's top properties.
Forbes recently listed its top 10 ranking for U.S. malls, with Bal Harbour Shops at the top with sales in excess of U.S. $3,000 per square foot. Other top U.S. properties included The Grove in Los Angeles (U.S. $2,100/sq ft), Pioneer Place in Portland, OR (U.S. $1,855/sq ft), Woodbury Common (an outlet mall) near NYC (U.S. $1,550/sq ft), Forum Shops at Caesars Palace Las Vegas (U.S. $1,515/sq ft) and Aventura Mall in Miami (U.S. $1,500/sq ft).
Despite reports claiming that competition such as power centres and e-commerce are killing malls, some Canadian shopping centres are experiencing better than ever sales. We spoke with retail expert Farla Efros, COO of HRC Advisory, a leading retail consulting firm. She noted that most of Canada’s top 20 malls have seen recent enhancements to keep them relevant, and that most could be considered to be relatively upscale.
Ms. Efros noted that with the demise of anchors such Woodward’s, Eaton’s, Simpson’s, Zellers and some Sears locations, many malls have had to essentially reinvent themselves. The result has been improved properties with more ‘mini-anchors’, some boasting substantial sales. Ms. Efros mentioned Forever 21, H&M, Zara, and Uniqlo as examples. She also mentioned Apple Stores which in some Canadian malls, see sales exceeding $50 million in only 5,000 to 10,000 square feet of space.
Ms. Efros noted that malls also have inherent built-in advantages over online sales, including socialization and immediate gratification. Many consumers prefer to experience brands in person, handling products and being able to take them home immediately after purchase. Malls are also adding other experiences to compete with online and power centres, including upgraded food experiences, enhanced movie theatres, valet parking, concierges, and other amenities intended to provide shoppers with a pleasurable, convenient, and increasingly upscale experience. Furthermore, shopping centres provide a social experience which is unmatched online.