Almost all of Canada's top 25 most productive shopping centres saw increases in 2015 over the year prior, despite the economy and Canadian dollar. Brick-and-mortar retail will continue to thrive, according to one retail expert.
Here are Canada's top 25 shopping centres, based on annual sales per square foot as of December 31, 2015:
1. Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto, ON: $1,610
2. CF Pacific Centre, Vancouver, BC: $1599
3. Oakridge Centre, Vancouver, BC: $1,537
4. CF Toronto Eaton Centre, Toronto, ON: $1,509
5. Southgate Centre, Edmonton, AB: $1,215
6. CF Chinook Centre, Calgary, AB: $1,119
7. Royal Bank Plaza, Toronto, ON: $1,096
8. CF Rideau Centre, Ottawa, ON: $1,018
9. Metropolis at Metrotown, Burnaby, BC: $1,008
10. Square One Shopping Centre, Mississauga ON: $994
11. CF Sherway Gardens, Toronto, ON: $965
12: CF Market Mall, Calgary, AB: $961
13: CF Richmond Centre, Richmond, BC: $928
14: CF Fairview Mall, Toronto, ON: $913
15: CF Carrefour Laval, Laval QC: $888
16: CF Polo Park, Winnipeg, MB: $886
17: CF Masonville Place, London, ON: $855
18: Toronto Dominion Centre, Toronto, ON: $836
19: Holt Renfrew Centre, Toronto, ON: $828
29: Mapleview Centre, Burlington ON: $823
21: Peter Pond Mall, Ft. McMurray, AB: $804
22: Complex Les Ailes, Montreal QC: $790
23: Scarborough Town Centre, Toronto, ON: $790
24: Conestoga Mall, Waterloo, ON: $786
25: Halifax Shopping Centre, Halifax, NS: $783
Thank you to everyone involved in collecting these numbers.
Last year, we ranked Canada's top 20 malls by sales per square foot (those numbers are also at the end of this article). Examining this year's numbers, all malls saw gains except for Ft. McMurray's Peter Pond Mall. Given the economy in that community, it's remarkable that sales still surpassed $800 per square foot, down from $887 in 2014.
Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre has surpassed Vancouver's Pacific Centre to become Canada's most productive mall. It is also Canada's top selling, with sales in excess of $1.2 billion annually. According to Marketing Director Lucia Connor, Yorkdale's success is a result of securing top stores, retail innovation, and constant improvements. She noted that the mall is continuously innovating, be it hosting pop-up retailers or Fashion Santa over the winter holiday shopping season, and that landlord Oxford Properties endeavours to secure the world's top brands (many are first-to-market) for the centre. For those wondering about parking, Ms. Connor says that there will be more valet parking options in the new Nordstrom wing expansion which opens this fall, and that Yorkdale will eventually boast 8,000 parking spaces.
Although West Edmonton Mall didn't make the top 25 list at $753 per square foot, representatives say that the mall's central corridor does sales of about $1,210 per square foot annually.
Breaking the above list down geographically, 11 of the top 25 malls are in the Greater Toronto Area, with four in Vancouver/Lower Mainland, two in the Montreal area, two in Calgary, and one each in Edmonton, Ft. McMurray, London, Waterloo, Ottawa and Halifax.
Farla Efros, President of leading consultancy HRC Advisory, said that it is fully expected that Canada's top mall properties would continue to experience sales growth, particularly as many of these malls continue to expand, renovate and secure new tenants (possibly at the expense of less productive retailers). Despite gains in online retail sales, Ms. Efros noted that Canadians are still shopping with their feet and wallets and given burgeoning sales numbers, it's a myth that brick-and-mortar retail is dead. She noted how top malls have been spending a fortune to expand and renovate properties, adding high-end tenants, valet services, and upgrading food offerings.
Ms. Efros mentioned how the low Canadian dollar is keeping Canadians shopping in this country, but said that's not the only reason Canadians are shopping domestically. She noted that over the past five years, there have been so many U.S. retailers enter Canada that now, American malls are less of a "unique and differentiating experience". For media sources interested in speaking to Farla Efros further about this study, she can be reached at: email@example.com.
Here are our numbers from 2014:
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. (Note: see above for more accurate numbers)
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