Prairie Mall Grande Prairie Alberta Adding New Retailers

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In the last two years, the Prairie Mall in Grande Prairie, Alberta, has set a scorching pace of adding new retailers to the popular shopping centre.

And for good reason.

The Grande Prairie Primary Trade Area is growing and includes about 110,000 people but the mall believes that number is likely much larger. There’s a young, affluent and captive market with a median age of 33. And the average household income is close to $130,000.

Those are all good demographics for mall owner Morguard Investments which has been able to attract national and international brands to the northwestern Alberta city. Prairie Mall has about 100 stores and services in 278,255 square feet.

Kelly Pekalski, Senior Manager, Retail Leasing, with Morguard Investments, said the mall, which is the largest indoor shopping centre in northwestern Alberta, is performing at about $682 sales per square foot.

CLICK FOR MAP OF PRAIRIE MALL SHOPPING CENTRE

“We were able to secure a few key national retailers about 18 months ago and that just led to a lot of growth in terms of bringing great, strong national brands to Grande Prairie. Albertans love national brands, especially Grande Prairie. The response from tenants is that they’re super happy with their sales here,” said Pekalski.

In the fall of 2017, the mall welcomed Marshalls (24,000 square feet), Ardene (17,000 square feet) and Urban Planet (21,700 square feet) in the former Target space.

More stores followed in 2018: Sephora (4,000 square feet, August); Saje Natural Wellness (1,330 square feet, October); Lululemon (4,000 square feet, November); and Starbucks (1,500 square feet, November).

This year Quarks opened in April; Eclipse in June; Mountain Warehouse in July; and Laura will open in November. Poko Popcorn will also open this fall.

Pekalski said a Purdy’s store will open in February 2020 and a Warehouse One will be opening in March 2020.

The mall is currently about 92 per cent leased.

“Hopefully we’ll have a few more nationals to announce but nothing I can officially announce at this time,” she said.

The demographics are a key to attracting retailers to the mall.

PHOTO: BEACHAMP PHOTOGRAPHY VIA PRAIRIE MALL FACEBOOK

“Even when Alberta’s down, which it is as we know, the whole economy may be down as well but it starts from such a higher threshold. The PTA average household income is at the $130,000 per year. So when you start from there if you’re off call it 10 per cent there’s still enough of a disposable income that our retailers see positivity and see growth in a market like that,” added Pekalski.

“And in the secondary trade area the average household income is about $115,000. Over 80 per cent of the population is under the age of 45. That’s a huge factor. Grande Prairie’s such a young demographic. People move there just to work. We’re not just reliant on oil and gas. It’s obviously important. But there’s a strong health-care hub, forestry. It’s not just a one-horse town per se.”

The Prairie Mall also has a pop-up program in place.

“Morguard overall has a really great pop-up program. We have a pop-up program at the mall that has been really, really well received especially in smaller markets like this where they don’t have the exposure to sometimes some of the more unique brands. It got leased up really, really quickly,” said Pekalski.

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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