An increasing number of supermarkets are opening their doors in prime shopping centres as mall landlords see the benefit of having a grocery store as an anchor tenant.
“This is what I think is becoming the pattern that is really interesting,” said Tina Lee, CEO of T&T.
T&T currently has 29 stores across Canada with locations – it’s mall locations including Promenade in Thornhill, Ontario, Lansdowne, Richmond, BC, Metrotown in Burnaby, BC, Willowbrook in Langley, BC, and West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton.
“If you start to line up mall after mall after mall and what we do to the mall before and after in terms of foot traffic, it’s a pretty amazing story . . . We are very open to going into more malls. The question is whether the malls are open to it.
“Cadillac Fairview is certainly no small potato. And T&T as a business and a banner we’re very open to it. We’ve had a successful track record at it and we would look at every mall opportunity that is put in front of us. I would imagine shopping malls are going through a transformation coming out of this pandemic and should there be anchor space opening up in different regional malls, that people should call me.”
Also, with a trend toward densification in many shopping centres across Canada by various property owners, a grocery store as an anchor becomes an even more important part of that process.
The new store at Fairview will open in the winter of 2022 in over 36,000 square feet in the former Sears space on the ground level and it features direct TTC access and can be accessed via the mall’s new corridor.
“T&T Supermarkets is at the forefront of Asian food innovation – always sourcing new and trendy items, as well as ensuring we stock the traditional favourites that are important to the communities we serve,” said Lee. “We’re excited to become a part of CF Fairview Mall and look forward to bringing new business to the area – our stores are destinations, attracting customers from all over the region.”
T&T Supermarkets is the largest Asian supermarket chain in Canada, operating stores in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. T&T Supermarkets was founded in Vancouver in 1993 and is now led by second generation successor Lee. T&T Supermarket is headquartered in Richmond, BC, with offices in Toronto. It is owned by Loblaw Companies.
Cadillac Fairview said the addition of a major grocery brand at CF Fairview Mall stems from the 2019 strategic vision of partners CF and TD Asset Management Inc. to repurpose the centre’s department store space, improve pedestrian access to the nearby Don Mills subway station, and introduce new retail brands and food and dining offerings to reinforce the leadership position of one of Canada’s best-performing shopping centres. The redesign and transformation to CF Fairview Mall, totalling some 200,000 square feet, opened in Fall 2020 with new store openings continuing through 2022.
“T&T is a highly popular, best-in-class grocery brand and we’re delighted to partner with them and open a store location at CF Fairview Mall as the premier food destination for miles around,” said Michael Peiser, Director, Development, Cadillac Fairview. “The addition of T&T Supermarket, with its unique brand positioning, dramatically reflects how CF Fairview supports the needs of this growing and dynamic local community.
“We knew prior to going into the pandemic, and if you look at our higher strategy as an organization, we’re really looking at differentiation and diversification for our retail assets. And in both those fronts, having grocery is fundamentally important because it drives traffic and it also has repeat traffic.”
He called it “commodity shopping” which includes grocery stores, banks, and anything a consumer would deal with on a weekly basis. Those retailers are fundamentally important but during COVID they have become even more important.
Consumer surveys indicated that the number one thing they wanted to see in Fairview was a grocery store and an ethnic grocery store was quite popular.
Fairview has more than 190 retailers and dining options and has been a local landmark since opening its doors in 1970.
Here’s a list of other CF shopping centres which have supermarkets:
- CF Rideau – Farm Boy
- CF Promenades St-Bruno – Avril + Marche des Promenades
- CF Sherway Gardens – Pusateris within Saks
- CF Toronto Eaton Centre – Pusateris within Saks
- CF Fairview Mall – Walmart
- CF Shops at Don Mills – McEwens / Metro
- CF Markville – Walmart
- CF Champlain – Sobeys & Walmart
- CF Market Mall – Safeway
Cadillac Fairview is a globally focused owner, operator, investor, and developer of best-in-class real estate across retail, office, residential, industrial and mixed-use asset classes. Wholly owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, CF manages in excess of $35 billion of assets across the Americas and the United Kingdom, with further expansion planned into Europe and Asia.
The company’s Canadian portfolio comprises 69 landmark properties, including the Toronto-Dominion Centre, CF Toronto Eaton Centre, Tour Deloitte, CF Carrefour Laval, CF Chinook Centre and CF Pacific Centre.