Next year, an innovative 50,000 square foot Porsche dealership will open at the CF Markville shopping centre north of Toronto, marking a trend where auto retailers are opening large locations in major malls.
The massive Pfaff Porsche dealership will stand on its own pad on the shopping centre property and will be one of the first in the world to feature Porsche’s new global retail architecture, according to the company.
The site will connect directly to CF Markville’s underground and above-ground parking structures and it features full pedestrian access for mall visitors. Pfaff Porsche will open in the fourth quarter of 2020 after a lengthy construction period.
Both new and used vehicles will be for sale at the new Pfaff Porsche, and the dealership will also integrate a full parts and service operation, as well as a Porsche Driver’s Selection retail boutique that will carry branded products. The dealership will also be fully-equipped for a future where Porsche cars will operate on electricity, with dedicated electric vehicle charging stations on-site, as well as an electric vehicle battery repair room. The retailer says that this will future-proof the new dealership for servicing the new Porsche Taycan and future electric Porsche models that will be rolled-out in years to come.
“Our relationship with Pfaff Automotive Partners is a long-standing partnership,” expressed Marc Ouayoun, President and CEO of Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd. “With the continued expansion of our dealer network, we will continue to service the needs of our valued customers in Canada.”
The CF Markville Pfaff Porsche will be the third dealership for the auto retailer. Pfaff was founded in 1967 in Newmarket and relocated to Woodbridge in 2002. In 2017, the retailer moved into a 100,000 square foot facility adjacent to Vaughan Mills. The company also owns an interest in Porsche of London (Ontario), which opened in 2010.
CF Markville is one of the largest shopping centres in the Greater Toronto area, spanning more than 940,000 square feet over two levels. The centre is anchored by a large Hudson’s Bay department store as well as Walmart, Winners/HomeSense, and Saks OFF 5TH. Other notable Japanese retailers include Uniqlo and Muji. The centre is also one of the most productive in Canada with almost $900 in annual sales per square foot.
Markham has the highest visible minority population of any city in Canada at 66%, and CF Markville’s trade area encompasses more than 400,000 people with an average household income of $117,500. Those with a net worth exceeding $1 million is 30% higher than the national average.
CF Markville’s Porsche dealership will be the second auto showroom on the shopping centre property. In the fall of 2017, a 5,600 square foot ‘Mercedes me Store’ opened within the shopping centre, showcasing several vehicles while also carrying a range of Mercedes-branded merchandise.
Adding Pfaff Porsche to CF Markville marks a trend being seen in shopping centres in North America. It’s a trend likely to be seen more in Canada as landlords look to back-fill retail spaces vacated by Target and Sears. Consumers’ desire for ‘experiences’ has seen landlords adding non-traditional uses such as fitness centres, flexible work spaces, pop-up installations and food halls, not to mention full-sized restaurants.
One example is West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, which next year will unveil a 317,000 square foot Mayfield Toyota dealership and experience centre to the property. It will occupy the lower level of a former Sears store as well as adjacent small area, including 117,000 square feet of retail space with an adjacent detailing and parking facility. Valet parking will be made available at the shopping centre for the first time as West Edmonton Mall secures luxury brand stores such as Louis Vuitton and Canada Goose.
Other shopping centres in Canada have also added auto retail showrooms to the mix. Last year, a Porsche showroom popped up for several months at Square One in Mississauga. Mercedes also has a presence at the Aberdeen Centre in suburban Vancouver. Tesla operates highly productive retail spaces at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre, CF Sherway Gardens and at Park Royal in Vancouver.
We’ll continue to follow the trend of shopping centre landlords adding automobile retail to the mix. It appears to be a trend in Canada as shopping centres become mixed-use properties, which will eventually include housing, office buildings and other additions.