Leading landlord Cadillac Fairview is seeing increased sales by adding restaurants and upgraded food components and as a result of these and other property upgrades, its malls are among Canada's most productive. Finley McEwen, Senior Vice President of Development at Cadillac Fairview, explained how the landlord's decade-long efforts are paying off and how Cadillac Fairview plans to continue upgrading its dining options to attract and keep shoppers in its malls.
Several of Cadillac Fairview's malls made it into Retail Insider's 2014 list of Canada's 20 most productive malls, and the same is expected for our 2015 list which will launch next month. This may come as no surprise, as the landlord has been upgrading and expanding its properties as well as adding new tenants. We spoke with Mr. McEwen specifically about Cadillac Fairview's efforts to enhance its food options, which range from traditional and enhanced food court offerings to full-service, freestanding restaurants.
Mr. McEwen explained how, over the past decade, Cadillac Fairview has been upgrading its food offerings. While some dining areas feature traditional disposable utensils, several of the company's recent renovations have included upgraded dining halls featuring porcelain dish-ware and full scullery service. Reusable utensils are better for the environment, explained Mr. McEwen, with waste reduction being a goal for Cadillac Fairview. Although scullery service and bussing can be costly and takes extra space, customers generally react positively to the enhanced dining experience.
Cadillac Fairview is also adding full-service restaurants to its properties which will serve not only to bring in shoppers, but to act as destinations unto themselves. We specifically discussed new restaurant offerings at CF Sherway Gardens, which recently revealed an impressive 210,000 square foot expansion. The Keg Steakhouse recently opened in the expansion, and a JOEY Restaurant will open in February of 2016. Cactus Club will open at the centre in 2017, and many are also eagerly anticipating the February 2016 opening of the 5,500 square foot Oliver & Bonacini restaurant within the mall's newest anchor, Saks Fifth Avenue.
Early next month in Sherway's new 'Gourmet Fare' food court, Bar Freddo Caffe will open a licensed premises serving artisanal Italian cuisine, gelato, and various alcoholic spirits. Mr. McEwen explained how a small, unique, independent tenant such as Bar Freddo is a welcome addition, mixing in with national and international chain tenants.
Antony Karabus, CEO of leading retail consultancy HRC Advisory, recently commented on how food enhances the mall shopping experience, and how landlords are able to charge higher retail rents as mall improvements lead to more shoppers. Furthermore “These landlords are also spending heavily to add new food experiences, upgrade restrooms and common areas, to create a more luxurious experience to attract the kind of customers that will spend heavily at their tenants," he said.
Mr. McEwen revealed that Cadillac Fairview will continue upgrading its properties as well as its food experiences, in an effort to gain shoppers and enhance centre productivity. We expect Cadillac Fairview to dominate next month's top Canadian mall productivity list, alongside landlords Oxford Properties and Ivanhoé Cambridge.