The United States may have bigger malls than Canada does, for the most part.
But that doesn’t mean they perform better from a business perspective. In fact, Canada’s malls were found to be more productive than America’s, in a study released recently by the Retail Council of Canada (RCC).
The study collected data on mall productivity for the year ending Aug. 31, 2016. It also measured pedestrian counts over a 12-month period.
Its overall finding was that “Canada’s malls are, on average, more productive than those in the United States.
“While there are a handful of U.S. centers that beat Canada’s top performers, Canada’s top malls are as busy as the leading U.S. malls,” the study said.
The RCC measured sales productivity by looking at how much money was spent per square foot.
By that measure, Canadian malls have been beating America’s shopping centres each year for the last three.
Canadian malls even compete with American ones when it comes to foot traffic.
Toronto’s Eaton Centre, for example, was considered Canada’s busiest mall with a pedestrian count of 48,969,858.
That was more than America’s busiest mall — Honolulu’s Ala Moana Shopping Center, which has 42 million estimated annual visitors.
What’s the secret to the success of Canadian malls? They’ve adapted.
Mall owners are investing in their facilities through renovations and expansions, the report said. They’re also offering enhanced food and beverage options, with food courts that offer variety and contemporary designs.
They’re also taking in large-format stores, like La Maison Simons, which opened in Mississauga’s Square One shopping centre in March, or U.S. retailer Nordstrom, which is now located in malls in Calgary, Ottawa, Vancouver and Toronto.
But there’s also plenty of inter-Canada competition when it comes to the productivity of a shopping mall.
Here are Canada’s top-performing shopping centres, when counting sales per square foot:
1) Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto Ont. — $1,650.85
2) Oakridge Shopping Centre, Vancouver, B.C. — $1,537
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