Craig and Lee delve into the dynamics of downtown retail, honing in on Edmonton in this episode of The Weekly by Retail Insider. Craig, having recently traveled to visit retail landscapes from Vancouver to San Francisco, shares insights on the stark contrast between the vibrancy of suburban shopping centres and the decline of downtown cores in many North American cities. The conversation unfolds with a critical examination of factors such as the historical shift from downtown to suburbs post-World War II, the impact of major retailers like Walmart and Amazon, and the surprising downturn of once-thriving downtowns like Edmonton.
They discuss Edmonton’s downtown, noting the challenges of parking, increasing vacancies, and a lack of vibrancy. Craig’s firsthand experience paints a vivid picture of the transformation from a bustling retail hub in the ’80s and ’90s to a quieter, less inviting space today. The podcast explores the broader trend in Canadian cities, drawing parallels between Edmonton and other urban centres like Winnipeg, Ottawa, and even smaller cities like Regina and Saskatoon, the latter two which have managed to maintain downtown retail vibrancy. The episode concludes with a reflection on potential solutions, from urban planning initiatives to the role of pedestrians in downtown spaces, leaving listeners pondering the future of retail landscapes in Canadian cities.
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Background Music Credit: Hard Boiled Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/