Current population not sufficient to support downtown grocery store: report

Most grocers indicated they had no desire to open a store in downtown Saskatoon because the current population is not sufficient to support one. File / Global News

Saskatoon’s downtown core does not have the population density needed to sustain a grocery store, according to a new report.

Earlier this year, city council requested the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA) find out what conditions are needed to attract a grocery store to the area.

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Most grocers who participated indicated they had no desire because the current population is not sufficient enough to support a store.

The report also stated the key challenges are the cost of land, rent, construction and establishing a site in an appropriate location with the desired building and adequate parking.

“The companies we spoke to want that urban lifestyle and people who will stop by a couple times a week. They’re definitely looking for the type of shopper in addition to the amount of shoppers,” SREDA president and CEO Alex Fallon said on Wednesday.

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Given the findings of the report, administration will be recommending to city council that efforts be taken to increase the number of people living downtown to entice prospective grocers.

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