If you want to shop ’til you drop in Canada, Vancouver is the place to be.
The city boasts three of the top-10 performing malls in Canada, according to a new ranking released by Retail Insider. Demand for luxury goods, not to mention fancy perks like valet parking and personal shopping services, is driving sales to unprecedented heights in Vancouver.
The city’s top-ranking mall is downtown’s Pacific Centre, which came in second overall on the list, behind Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Pacific Centre averaged $1,599 in annual sales per square foot, a 6.7-percent increase over last year.
Oakridge Centre ranked third on the list, with $1,537 in sales per square foot, an increase of 10.2 percent. Burnaby’s Metropolis at Metrotown earned the ninth-place spot, with $1,008 in sales per square foot, up 13.8 percent from last year.
But how to explain these skyrocketing sales during a year when markets were bearish and the economy overall seemed on shaky footing?
Analysts point to an influx of tourists in Vancouver as the main driver of the shopping surge, with visitors from Asia and other areas overseas showing a marked preference for high-end and luxury goods. Canadians, meanwhile, are staying home rather than shopping in the U.S., owing to the falling Canadian dollar.
At the same time, local malls have undergone a flurry of renovations – expanding existing space and bringing in new tenants. The most notable example is the addition of Nordstrom to Pacific Centre. The high-end Seattle-based department store has exceeded sales expectations and also boosted foot traffic to the entire mall. Interestingly, even sales at nearby competitor Holt Renfrew are up for the year.
Finally, over-the-top perks are bringing shoppers back to malls. Nordstrom, for instance, offers valet parking at downtown’s Pacific Centre. Holt Renfrew is adding an upscale restaurant overlooking Howe Street and even has a designated private showing area for big-spending shoppers.
You can see the full list of Canada’s top 25 malls on the Retail Insider website.