December 19, 2018 7:19 pm
Updated: December 20, 2018 10:08 am

Vacancy at Regina’s Cornwall Centre increases as more stores set to close

WATCH: Vacancy rates at the Cornwall Centre are set to increase as more stores close come the new year, but as Katelyn Wilson explains it's not all doom and gloom.

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With H&M coming to the Cornwall Centre back in March, many hoped other retail giants would follow suit.

Instead, the mall will actually be a little emptier in the new year.

READ MORE: H & M grand opening in Regina draws big crowds

Roots will be closing its doors at the end of December and the Gap, along with the Gap Kids store, will be closing at the end of January.

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The looming closures leave the mall with seven vacancies, including the large space left by Sears when it closed last year.

In a statement to Global News, Alexandra Hussey, marketing manager of the Cornwall Centre, said:

“While saddened to see both brands leave Regina, our leasing team continues to connect with sought-after retailers as we complete our redevelopment project. We look forward to sharing announcements on new retailers as deals are finalized.”

A couple of months ago, Aldo also closed, saying in an email that the decision was made after revising its strategy in the region. Its parent company will continue to operate its Call It Spring brand in the mall, Aldo added.

READ MORE: ‘Silent Santa’ offers a quiet environment for kids with special needs in Regina

The Regina & District Chamber of Commerce says the landscape of traditional malls are changing, something it attributed to a shift in online sales and big box stores.

“There’s some challenges in the retail sector in terms of the old traditional malls, but I think we’re not close to saying, ‘Okay, things are in a crisis mode here,'” CEO John Hopkins said. “Challenging but not crisis mode.”

WATCH: Regina Boxing Club closing after 69 years

Others say parking deters them from shopping downtown, which the city hopes to change next year.

“It’s obviously a work in progress and we’re trying to find the right technology that will encourage people to come downtown and make it easier to obviously put more money in the meters without having to go back to your car,” Mayor Michael Fougere said.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. A recent report shows Saskatchewan led the country in retail growth back in September, with a 1.7 per cent increase from the previous month — higher than the national average.

READ MORE: Regina’s downtown busier, more popular: survey

“We look at Costco and Costco’s put some significant dollars in in terms of investment on the east side,” Hopkins said. “Harbour Landing, we’ve seen investment there [and] a little bit on the north — it looks like we will probably see some more there,.”

As for the mall, once deals are finalized the Cornwall Centre plans to make announcements.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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