On Monday we mentioned Target’s imminent arrival in Canadian downtowns, including Vancouver and Toronto. Today we’ll briefly examine the tendency towards big-box retailers moving into city centres.
Big Box retailers such as Wal-Mart, Costco, Michael’s, Canadian Tire, Best Buy and others have traditionally been found in suburbs. As thousands of new condo dwellers populate Canadian downtown cores, ground-floor retail space in condo developments is increasingly being occupied by larger-format retailers previously limited to the suburbs.
Toronto’s Aura at College Park, for example, will be a massive residential tower with about 180,000 square feet of retail in its podium. Retail at Aura will include Marshall’s, an American value-priced retailer. Bed Bath & Beyond will also be at Aura. Winners is already located in an adjoining building, and two grocery stores complete the retail area known as ‘College Park’.
Big box retail downtown isn’t new: Vancouver got a Costco store downtown in 2006. Included are about a thousand condo units in three towers (a fourth was recently added). Downtown Vancouver and Toronto have since opened numerous big-box stores including Winners, Homesense, Future Shop, Canadian Tire and others. As urbanites continue to flock into downtown cores, popular big-box retailers will continue to follow.
Retail Insider will be keeping up with what large-format retailers will be moving into Canadian city centres. Target is actively seeking central Toronto and Vancouver space and we have been informed that at least one Downtown Toronto location has been secured. Target could open as many as three stores in Downtown Toronto, alone. A Downtown Vancouver location is in the works but a site hasn’t been secured at this time. Downtown Calgary and Montreal should be watched closely, and even Edmonton is seeing a renewed vibrancy in its downtown core that will be followed by substantial retail.
Aura website: http://www.collegeparkcondos.com
Marshall’s website: www.marshallscanada.ca