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Retail Developments the Big Story


Retail is also heavy on the mind of Colliers VP director of retail consulting James Smerdon when looking back at the top stories of 2013, especially acquisitions in the summer and fall. "It started with Loblaw's acquiring Shoppers Drug Mart, and was quickly followed by Sobeys buying Canada Safeway (image), and then Hudson's Bay taking over Sak's."


As usual, it will take years to assess the full impact of these deals to materialize. "But I think it's the start of a trend, rather than the end of one," he adds. The deals, James says, are as much about real estate as they are about retailing, and the fundamentals behind the deals (accessing untapped markets, high land values in urban areas, and low retail vacancy rates in major metropolitan markets) are unlikely to disappear soon. (That's great news for teenagers who know how to swipe their parents' credit cards.)