Ivanhoé Cambridge Launching Pop-Up Retail Spaces at 10 Canadian Shopping Centres

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Montreal-based landlord Ivanhoé Cambridge is launching pop-up retail spaces in 10 of its malls, and is working with two significant pop-up facilitators to launch the endeavour. Ivanhoé Cambridge is the latest landlord to get on the temporary retail bandwagon, reflecting the trend towards diverse and experiential physical retail at a time when e-commerce is growing. 

Ivanhoé Cambridge is launching the pop-up initiative both in its three ‘Mills’ properties as well as in seven of its traditional fashion centres in Canada. 

The landlord partnered with Toronto-based pop-up go to secure pop-up retail tenants for Ivanhoé Cambridge’s Vaughan Mills shopping centre north of Toronto, CrossIron Mills near Calgary, and Tsawwassen Mills in suburban Vancouver. The three unique centres feature a mix of full-priced and off-price retailers which International Council of Shopping Centres has dubbed to be ‘hybrid outlet centres’. 

Linda Farha, Founder and Chief Connector at pop-up go, said, “Now, more than ever, it’s crucial for brands to innovate and create the experiential shopping experiences that the modern consumer not only wants, but now expects. Ivanhoé Cambridge understands this and we look forward to working with such a forward-thinking company to bring unique shopping experiences to their Mills centres.”

Ivanhoé Cambridge also partnered with US firm Storefront to activate spaces at seven of its properties, which also marks Storefront’s entry into Canada. Those seven malls include: 

  • Bayshore Shopping Centre in Ottawa, 
  • Guildford Town Centre in Surrey, BC
  • Mapleview Shopping Centre, in Burlington, ON
  • Mayfair Shopping Centre in Victoria, BC
  • Place Ste-Foy in Québec City, 
  • Oshawa Centre in Oshawa, ON, and
  • Southgate Centre in Edmonton.

The pop-up initiatives will feature a rotation of short-term retail tenants with the intention of driving foot traffic, creating a buzz within shopping centres, as well as to offer customers a chance to interact with brands beyond point of sale. Each centre will offer a variety of sizes and layouts, from large spaces and in-line retail units to smaller, common-area set-ups. 

Each of the pop-up spaces will be suitable for new product launches, special events, promotions, not to mention experiential activations that showcase brands and increase visibility. Spaces can be booked from one day to several months. 

Ivanhoé Cambridge is the latest landlord in Canada to embrace including pop-up retail as part of its shopping centre mix. Oxford Properties launched a permanent pop-up space called CONCEPT in the spring of 2017, which has housed a variety of activations in its purpose-built 3,600 square foot space. Oxford Properties has since rolled-out pop-ups at several other centres. Cadillac Fairview, as well, has housed pop-ups in several of its properties, including its ‘CF Flower Markets’ in the spring of 2017 and most recently as an example, Google and Amazon currently operate pop-ups at CF Toronto Eaton Centre. 

Toronto-based beauty brand Flawless by Friday was one of the temporary tenants as part of Cadillac Fairview’s spring 2017 initiative that saw pop-up spaces in 14 of its properties nationally. It was the first time Flawless by Friday went direct-to-consumer in physical retail spaces, and in the spring of 2018 the brand coordinated a ‘Female Founders Market’ at CONCEPT in Yorkdale.

Linda Farha of pop-up go discussed a recent report from International Council of Shopping Centres noting that 70% of survey respondents say malls should focus on “creating engaging experiences for consumers that combine shopping and entertainment and other services/activities.” According to Forrester, 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience — the locality of pop-up retail is able to facilitate much of that, contrasting with retail behemoths such as Walmart which are impersonal in comparison. 

Pop-up retail also produces proven sales, notes pop-up-go’s Ms. Farha — 65% of brands say their event and experiential programs are directly related to sales, according to EMI & Mosaic. 

Despite opinions from some that online retail would overtake brick-and-mortar, retailers are now finding that they can drive sales in both channels synergistically. Some online retailers such as Frank And Oak, Indochino and Warby Parker have gone from being pure-play e-commerce retailers to operating networks of stores, with considerable success. Pop-up retail such as at Ivanhoé Cambridge malls therefore offer the opportunity for more online brands to drive sales through brick-and-mortar interactions, while also providing brick-and-mortar brands the opportunity to test out products and concepts for a limited period of time. 

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Editor-in-Chief of Retail Insider and President/CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton, and consultant to the Retail Council of Canada. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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