West Edmonton Mall will invest over $100million to continue renovations, including more new marble flooring and new crystal chandeliers. Renovations commenced in early 2011 including some improvements to common areas, flooring and ceilings. These latest renovations will ‘finish the mall’ with more seating areas while it courts new, upscale tenants.
The mall is courting retailers like Burberry, Tory Burch, Microsoft Store, Ted Baker, Free People, Kate Spade, and (rumour has it) Tiffany & Co., among others. Upscale retailers are sought partially due to an increase in shoppers from the affluent ‘oil-North’ regions like Ft. McMurray, where a (mostly male) population of affluent shoppers may holiday at the mall which includes hotel rooms, a casino, waterpark, amusement park and other attractions.
According to the Globe & Mail, The mall now spends almost 10% of its marketing budget targeting shoppers in Ft. McMurray, 50% more than just three years ago. Ft. McMurray shoppers make up about 15% of mall shoppers, while about 50% of all West Edmonton mall shoppers are tourists. Alberta also has no sales tax, making it a destination for some big-ticket purchasers.
We previously reported on the opening of La Maison Simons in West Edmonton Mall, the first Simons location outside of Quebec. We have been told Simons’ Edmonton store is doing ‘gangbusters’ sales.
West Edmonton Mall is a privately-owned complex owned by the Ghermezian family. Private ownership means it is sometimes secretive with its future plans and tenancy. We did some homework and found that the mall is still keen on securing Edmonton’s first Nordstrom store, as we previously reported, not to mention numerous other upscale tenants like those we mentioned above.
We’ll keep you updated on developments at North America’s largest shopping centre.
(Some information for this article was obtained from this article in the Globe & Mail)
West Edmonton Mall website: http://www.wem.ca