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Edmonton sees surge in Alberta stores setting up in local shopping malls

WATCH ABOVE: As big name brands ship out of shopping malls, local shops are moving in. We're seeing the industry trend here in Edmonton. Quinn Ohler reports.

Shopping centres across the country have seen a large number of U.S. retailers packing up and moving out.

It has created a unique opportunity for local businesses to set up shop inside a not-so-traditional location for them.

“There are a ton of retailers moving out of Canada,” retail expert Emily Salsbury-Deveaux said. “A lot of these spaces are temporary and they are given really good pop-up rates so they can experiment with a mall, see if they can do well and then perhaps be put in a permanent position.”

“This isn’t a trend that customers created; this is an industry trend.”

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Salsbury-Deveaux said it’s also forced all kinds of changes to shopping centres across Canada.

READ MORE: Simons opening second location in Edmonton as part of expansion plan

Londonderry Mall in Edmonton’s northeast has announced that, by the end of the summer, it will be home to eight Alberta-based businesses to compliment a new Simons store opening there.

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“As we continue working through our redevelopment, we want to ensure our retail mix is unique and as new as the mall’s refreshed look,” said Nancy Jarnevic, the mall’s marketing director. “We’re incredibly excited to welcome these new retailers to Londonderry and expand our offering of Canadian-based brands.”

READ MORE: Londonderry Mall to undergo $130M facelift

The stores include Opulence, Moltisanti, Continental Shoes, LemonDress, Step In Shoes, Adesso Accessories, the first-ever PARK SHOP and Kelly Wollfe.

“Edmontonians are focused on anything local and unique to the community,” Jarnevic said. “We wanted to bring some of that flavour into the shopping centre.”

Six of the eight stores are Edmonton-owned. PARK SHOP is Calgary-based and Continental Shoes originated in Grande Prairie.

Most of the small outlets in Londonderry are expected to open between Aug. 12 and Aug. 24.

“They approached me originally,” said local clothing designer Kelly Campbell, who is also the owner of Kelly Wollfe and Whyte Avenue store C’est Sera.

“I think they did a very good job of targeting independent businesses, mine included,” she said.

Renderings show what eight Alberta-based businesses will look like in Londonderry Mall
Renderings show what eight Alberta-based businesses will look like in Londonderry Mall Credit: MMC Architects/20 VIC Management
Renderings show what eight Alberta-based businesses will look like in Londonderry Mall
Renderings show what eight Alberta-based businesses will look like in Londonderry Mall
Renderings show what eight Alberta-based businesses will look like in Londonderry Mall
Renderings show what eight Alberta-based businesses will look like in Londonderry Mall
Renderings show what eight Alberta-based businesses will look like in Londonderry Mall. Step in Shoes has been open for two years.
Renderings show what eight Alberta-based businesses will look like in Londonderry Mall. Step in Shoes has been open for two years.
Renderings show what eight Alberta-based businesses will look like in Londonderry Mall
Renderings show what eight Alberta-based businesses will look like in Londonderry Mall
Renderings show what eight Alberta-based businesses will look like in Londonderry Mall
Renderings show what eight Alberta-based businesses will look like in Londonderry Mall
Renderings show what eight Alberta-based businesses will look like in Londonderry Mall
Renderings show what eight Alberta-based businesses will look like in Londonderry Mall
Renderings show what eight Alberta-based businesses will look like in Londonderry Mall
Renderings show what eight Alberta-based businesses will look like in Londonderry Mall

The store in Londonderry will be the third for Campbell. She said adding local businesses adds diversity that malls are looking for.

“Our mandate and our love is always about building the relationship with our customer,” Campbell said.”That way, we can meet the needs in their life.”

Londonderry isn’t the only shopping centre opening up to more local retailers. Edmonton-based Poppy Barley is set to open up its first flagship retail location at Southgate Centre on Thursday.

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Two new local retailers have also opened in Kingsway Mall: The Skinny and Makerskeep.

“There’s a big trend on shopping local and shopping small. It’s such an important movement,” The Skinny owner Erin Trebaczkiewicz said.

“People are caring where things are being made, where they are coming from and who is making them.”

“Just the exposure from this was what I was most excited about,” she said.

Retail experts said despite the moves taking away from the boutique feel that these shops usually go for, that exposure is one of the biggest things these small shops will gain by being in malls especially during the winter months.