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Outlet malls in Canada

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Posted on July 7, 2014 in Blog By Was Group

The retail outlet industry in Canada is booming right now, and it is showing no signs of slowing down. By the end of this year the gross leasable area in the country will double, bringing the total number of outlet malls from 6 to 9, with more development in the works.

In May, Canada's largest open-air outlet mall opened in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. The location of the 520,000 square-foot outlet is prime for both Canadian and American shoppers, as it is about 15 minutes from the border. The next outlet to open will be a Premium Outlets in Greater Montreal, serving the near 3 million residents within a one-hour travel time. Plans are also under way for new development to begin on outlet centers in Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver. All of this new development is going to seriously shake up the retail scene in Canada.

For years Canadians traveled to the US to find deals at some of the best outlet centers. Now the trend has moved north, giving Canadians more and more options closer to home. Retail spending in Canada is already higher than in the United States. According to International Council of Shopping Centres data, sales per square foot in Canadian malls reached $563 in 2011 (seasonally adjusted at annualized rate), vs. $400 in the U.S.

New outlet centers will not only be targeting Canadian shoppers. The Outlet Collection at Niagara is a mere 15 minutes from the US border and a major destination for international travelers. Other outlet malls are located in prime tourist areas as well, and developers are hoping to create a true destination with the spaces. With travelers to Canada listing their number one preferred activity as shopping, the growth of outlet malls in Canada is likely to continue.

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