May 19, 2020

Luxury Retailers Expand Across Canada

Joel Cuttiford
2 min
Luxury Retailers Expand Across Canada

According to research by commercial real estate company CBRE Group, more luxury retailers are expected to arrive in Canada, although at a slower pace than the country has seen in the last three years.  While big box retailers like Target have experienced difficulty in the national market, demand for luxury retailers has remained strong and is fuelling massive expansion projects at shopping malls across Canada.

The aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and recession created a boom in retail development with foreign retailers, primarily American companies who turned their sights to Canada.  Unfortunately, construction has not kept up with demand.

CRBE’s head researcher, Ross Moore, claims that there is currently little to no vacancy in highly sought-after shopping centers.

“We just don't have empty retail to speak of.  (Across the country) malls are generally full. If you're a Spanish or Italian or U.S. retailer, you are going to be put off by that.  Supply is the key.  Until we build more that's going to be a challenge,” Ross told the Canadian Press.

By measuring the number and type of retailers that set up shop last year, the study found that luxury and high-end fashion brands constitute the majority of new arrivals in Canada.

Newcomers in the jewelry, designer fashion and accessories categories are driving the demand for additional retail space.

In Vancouver, the Pacific and Oakridge Centres are expanding, adding 578,000 square feet and 373,000 square feet, respectively.  Calgary’s Chinook Centre is expanding by 140,000 square feet while Ottawa’s Rideau Centre will increase by 230,000 square feet.

Toronto’s top-tier malls Yorkdale and Sherway Gardens are both undergoing multi-million dollar expansions to accommodate their glamorous new anchor tenant: upscale U.S. department store Nordstrom.

For Yorkdale, this is the second expansion in four years.  In 2012, the mall underwent a $220 million renovation and added 145,000 square feet to its footprint.  The new wing will add 298,000 square feet and is set to open in 2016.

Moore predicts that malls in major markets will continue seeking expansion opportunities, but construction will plateau at a stead pace in the coming years, as developers and supply chains will need time to adjust to the influx of brands.

While inflation, stagnant wages and consumer debt have compelled many shoppers to merely window shop, the appetite of wealthy shoppers for luxury goods has been healthy.

“Certain income bands continue to grow more robustly than the rest,” Moore said. “If you're a luxury retailer you don't care if sales have been growing by one percent; you're only interested in the top two percent of the population, and that group's doing fairly well, by and large.”

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Jun 14, 2021

Giving efficiency the full throttle at NASCAR

3 min
CDW is a leading provider of information technology solutions, optimized business workflow and data capture systems for the auto racing company.

The NASCAR organization has long been synonymous with speed, agility and innovation. And so by extension, partnerships at NASCAR hold a similar reputation. One such partner for the organization has been CDW – a leading multi-brand provider of information technology solutions to businesses, government, education and healthcare customers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. CDW provides a broad array of products and services ranging from hardware and software to integrated IT solutions such as security cloud hybrid infrastructure and digital experience. Customer need is the driving force at CDW, and the company helps clients by delivering integrated services solutions that maximize their technology investment. So how does CDW help their customers achieve their business goals? Troy Okerberg, Field Sales Manager - North Florida at CDW adds “We strive to provide our customers with full stack expertise, helping them design, orchestrate and manage technologies that drive their business outcomes.” 

NASCAR acquired International Speedway Corporation (ISC) in 2019, merging its operations into one, new company moving forward. The merger represents an important step forward for NASCAR as the sport creates a unified vision to embrace its long history of exciting, family-oriented racing experiences while developing strategic growth initiatives that will drive the passion of core fans and attract the next generation of race fans. CDW has been instrumental in bringing the two technology environments together to enable collaboration and efficiency as one organization. Starting with a comprehensive analysis of all of NASCAR’s vendors, CDW created a uniform data platform for the data center environment across the NASCAR-ISC organization. The IT partner has also successfully merged the two native infrastructure systems together, while analyzing, consulting and providing an opportunity to merge Microsoft software licenses as well. 

2020 turned into a tactical year for both organizations with the onset of the pandemic and CDW has had to react quickly to the changing scenario. Most of the initial change included building efficiencies around logistics, like equipment needing to be delivered into the hands of end users who switched to a virtual working environment almost overnight. CDW’s distribution team worked tirelessly to ensure that all customers could still access the products that they were purchasing and needed for their organizations throughout the COVID timeframe. Okerberg adds that today, CDW continues to optimize their offering by hyper-localizing resources as well as providing need-based support based on the size and complexity of their accounts. Although CDW still operates remotely, the company commits to adapting to the changing needs of their clients, NASCAR in particular. Apart from the challenges that COVID-19 brought to the organization, another task that CDW had been handed was to identify gaps and duplicates in vendor agreements that the two former single-entity organizations had in place and align them based on services offered. CDW further helps identify and provide the best solution from a consolidation standpoint of both hardware and software clients so that the new merged organization is equipped with the best of what the industry has to offer. 

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