Canada's Largest Retail Power Centre, South Edmonton Common, Set to Expand

 Streetside at South Edmonton common

Streetside at South Edmonton common

By Mario Toneguzzi

South Edmonton Common, one of the largest open-air retail developments in North America, will get bigger in the fall with the opening of a Nordstrom Rack location.

The retail power centre, spread over 320 acres and containing more than 2.3 million square feet of dining, shopping and entertainment space, has developed a reputation of being the place where many retailers establish their first locations when they come to Edmonton.

Harold Pacheco, marketing manager for Cameron Development Management Inc., which operates the power centre, said one of the things that it prides itself about is being “a place of firsts.”

 Aerial view of South Edmonton Common

Aerial view of South Edmonton Common

 1998 aerial view of south Edmonton Common

1998 aerial view of south Edmonton Common

“So the flagship Canadian Tire store, also the biggest Canadian Tire store in Canada, is located there,” said Pacheco, of the 140,000-square-foot store over two floors which opened in 2015.

He said the Nordstrom Rack, which opens in October, will be the first location in Edmonton and the only confirmed one.

It will be 35,000 square feet and is Nordstrom’s off-price retailer offering on-trend clothing, shoes and other accessories. The power centre said Nordstrom Rack will be offering 30 to 70 per cent off regular prices and the store is designed to provide the ultimate treasure hunt to style-savvy customers.

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When Nordstrom first announced in August 2016 that it would be entering the Edmonton market at South Edmonton Common, its Canadian president Karen McKibbin said: "We want to be in compelling locations with a great retail mix, and we feel our new store at South Edmonton Common helps us to achieve that goal. We look forward to introducing ourselves to customers in Edmonton and bringing them great brands at great prices."

Nordstrom Rack is also opening a store in Mississauga at the Heartland Town Centre in September and one in Ottawa at The Ottawa Train Yards in October.

The South Edmonton Common power centre’s first tenant was Home Depot in 1998. Today, there are 169 retailers on the site. Major stores include Walmart, Lowe’s, IKEA, Saks OFF 5TH, Superstore, and Cineplex’s Rec Room.

 Nordstrom Rack building

Nordstrom Rack building

It’s located at the gateway to the south entrance into Edmonton and situated at one of the city’s highest traffic locations, bordering the city’s eight-lane ring road, Anthony Henday Drive - making it easily accessible to shoppers from all of Edmonton’s suburban areas.

“It’s one of the places where you can only find these stores in. So there’s something for everyone and in some cases as with Nordstrom Rack it’s the only one of that in the city,” said Pacheco. “There’s the only IKEA in the city there. For awhile it was the only Rec Room.”

Over the years, South Edmonton Common has been a leader when it comes to power centre developments across North America. It has often been where many retailers have first introduced their brand to the Edmonton market.

“The centre’s almost fully built out. We’re really excited because this format didn’t exist in Edmonton before this sort of open-air big box centre a bit outside of the city. A place of firsts for standalone retailers,” said Pacheco.

The centre is promoting walkability and sustainability. It will be putting in electric vehicle chargers in there shortly. It is also looking at improving transportation in the area.

“We’re really updating it for modern consumers,” added Pacheco.

“We may look at having a public space in there - an event space.”

Mario+Toneguzzi+Headshot.jpg

Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: mdtoneguzzi@gmail.com

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