Canadian Retailer - November/December 2011 - (Page 36)
| RETAIL REAL ESTATE
No room at the retail inn?
HOW CANADIAN RETAILERS ARE REMAINING COMPETITIVE IN TODAY’S REAL ESTATE ENVIRONMENT
By Denise Deveau
hen Mark McEwan, chef and retail operator, began scouting for space to expand his McEwan Foods retail concept into downtown Toronto, he discovered a few things about the real estate picture. “You would think that if you wanted to open a retail food store, you would find multiple locations and then just ponder where you want to be,” he says.
Not so, he found out. “If it’s larger spaces, the multinationals have tied it up. You’re dealing with big chain stores and competing for leases. You can always find a tiny footprint, but then you don’t have parking or proximity to your market.” Even for his flagship store in North Toronto, it took three years to find the location he wanted, he says. McEwan’s real estate challenges
are something that many retailers are facing in an environment where U.S. chains are filling up prime locations, demand is driving up lease rates, urban properties are hard to come by, and competition all around is getting stiffer. “There’s only a finite amount of good retail space available, especially in the big six markets. Times are tough out there,” says Jeff Ross, Vice
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Retailer - November/December 2011
SPECIAL: FROM THE PRESIDENT
RETAIL LEADERS PERSPECTIVES
RETAIL REAL ESTATE
Canadian Retailer - November/December 2011