Strong Leasing Activity in Canadian Retail Sector [Cadillac Fairview Video Interview]


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At the recent Calgary Real Estate Forum, Darryl Schmidt, vice-president, national leasing, Cadillac Fairview, said a wave of athleisure brands have entered the Calgary market at its properties CF Chinook Centre and CF Market Mall

Darryl Schmidt

“We don’t see that trend diminishing. So we’re going to see more athleisure players coming into the market,” said Schmidt.

“I think the other thing you’re going to see with the closures of Nordstrom is that anybody who had a shop-in-shop, or had a strong wholesale business within those doors, they now have to replace those stores with bricks-and-mortar.”

Grand Opening Ceremony at Uniqlo CF Chinook Centre (Image: CF Chinook Centre)

The retail market in Calgary is currently quite strong. He said fast fashion at a low price point is one sector which is resonating with consumers.

“We opened Uniqlo (at CF Chinook Centre) at the end of August. They’re absolutely on fire. If sales trend the way they are right now, they could top $30 million in Year 1,” he said.

“I don’t know if they’ll hold, but it’s been phenomenal . . . Zara the same thing. They’re in the midst of doubling in size, going to a flagship size at Chinook.

“On the high end, Louis Vuitton had an all-time sales high within Chinook. We’ve got lots of demands from luxury brands because of their sales and because they’ve seen how much is getting transacted in the market. . . . So I think it’s safe to say you’re going to see more luxury coming into the city.

“There’s lots of new brands coming into the market. . . . I’ve been doing this for 35 years and I don’t think the market’s been this strong in at least 12 years and maybe going back to 30 years.”

In this video interview, Schmidt talks about the current leasing environment across the Cadillac Fairview portfolio, what retailers are looking for when they want to expand, trends in the market, what big names have entered the market and will be in the near future and the evolution of shopping centre space.

The Video Interview Series by Retail Insider is available on YouTube.

Connect with Mario Toneguzzi, a veteran of the media industry for more than 40 years and named in 2021 a Top Ten Business Journalist in the world and the only Canadian – to learn how you can tell your story, share your message and amplify it to a wide audience. He is Senior News Editor with Retail Insider and owner of Mario Toneguzzi Communications Inc. and can be reached at

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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.


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