Outlets, Outlets, Everywhere
This week’s news that Ivanhoe Cambridge is developing another Outlet Collection in Winnipeg has some wondering what’s next for outlet malls in Canada.
In Vancouver, construction on the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver Airport is underway (image), slated for spring 2015. A spokesperson from the Vancouver Airport Authority (partnering with McArthurGlen on the 35k SF project) says tenants won’t be revealed until closer to opening. The project will feature luxury, designer, and lifestyle retail located near the Templeton Canada Line station. Canadian shoppers—and name retailers—have finally developed an appetite for the outlet product, says Cushman & Wakefield’s senior managing director John Crombie, its national head of retail.
After an overwhelming response from consumers and retailers last summer to Simon Property Group’s and Calloway REIT’s Toronto Premium Outlets, located west of Toronto, development has picked up, John says. Ivanhoe this week announced the lineup of 102 tenants for its Niagara Outlet Centre development near Niagara Falls, opening May 15. You'll find several first-in-Canada retailers like Pandora Outlet and White House | Black Market Outlet.
Other development: Simon has another project under construction north of Montreal. Tanger Factory Outlet Centers partnered with RioCan to expand the Tanger Outlers Cookstown, off Hwy 400 north of Toronto (snapped is last year's groundbreaking). Soon there will be 320k SF of brand name stores selling deeply discounted merchandise. There are also new centres on the way in Edmonton near the airport, and Tanger Outlets is developing one near the popular Calaway Amusement Park near Calgary.
Money is flocking to outlet malls on the outskirts of Canada’s big cities. Ivanhoe EVP Paul Gleeson says retailers’ perception of outlet malls in Canada has changed—a product that doesn’t need to be anchored by a Sears or Bay. CBRE’s Tom Balkos tells us the industry is finally giving consumers what they want, and US retailers are starting to trust that enough Canadians will shop at these outlets.
The guessing game now, says John, is where the next development will land. (Just follow your nose.... to a place that could use six different types of candle stores.) “You need at least 100 stores and 350k SF for a consumer to make the drive,” John says. “It’s got to be close enough to the city, but far enough away from the full-priced stores,” making it a challenge to find future sites.