CBRE just published a report providing a list of the most productive retailers doing business in Canada. Remarkably, a number of retailers on the list are homegrown, though perhaps unsurprisingly Apple Stores made the top of the list with annual sales estimated at $7,241 per square foot. We spoke with retail expert Farla Efros, President of leading consultancy HRC Advisory, to gain insight into why the top retailers see success.
Following Apple, Vancouver-based athletic brand Lululemon averages $2,961 per square foot annually. Surprisingly, large format retailer Costco is third with sales estimated at $1,490 per square foot. That surpasses LVMH‘s Canadian numbers (including Sephora and Louis Vuitton) with sales of $1,224 per square foot, annually.
Edmonton-based Katz Group was a surprising find – the company’s chain of drug stores (including nameplates Rexall Pharma Plus and Rexall Drug Store) saw sales of $1,030 per square foot. That’s higher than Shoppers Drug Mart’s sales of $790 per square foot annually.
Numbers from CBRE’s study were gathered from a 2014 study by Ryerson University’s Centre for the Study of Commercial Activity. The CBRE study also notes that according to the International Council of Shopping Centres, Canadian shopping centres saw sales averaging $673 per square foot annually over the past 12 months. That’s 12% higher than malls in the United States, with sales of U.S. $475.
Below is a chart from the CBRE report, listing all retailers studied. The full PDF report can be viewed here.
HRC Advisory President Farla Efros said that the top six retailers all feature ‘feel good’ lifestyle brand experiential shopping environments which particularly appeal to female shoppers. Apple Stores continue to innovate, most recently with the introduction of the Apple Watch. Lululemon’s fashionable workout wear blends with its experiential shopping environments. Costco, according to Ms. Efros, is becoming part of the health trend, carrying more organic, healthy choices at affordable bulk pricing. Louis Vuitton blends brand status with product diversity beyond its ‘classic handbag’, and Katz Group’s recent ‘reinvention‘ appeals to female customers with softer colours. Whole Foods, meanwhile, continues to expand into the realm of convenient, grab-and-go healthy meal options, according to Ms. Efros.