Canada’s Top 20 Most Productive Shopping Centres

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. 

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Now located in Toronto, Craig is a retail analyst and consultant at the Retail Council of Canada. He's also the Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for the past 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees. He is also President & CEO of Vancouver-based Retail Insider Media Ltd.

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