July/August 2020 – Facing the Music

With a mission to inform, empower, celebrate and advocate for British Columbia's current and aspiring business leaders, BCBusiness go behind the headlines and bring readers face to face with the key issues and people driving business in B.C.

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/1273655

Contents of this Issue


Page 41 of 79

pleasurable trip of discovery—not a mara- thon of endless pages. The second observable change has been the shifting mix of businesses on both main streets and in malls. Main streets have changed noticeably in the past decade. They're home to fewer things to touch and more services: restaurants, bars, gyms, dentist offices, nail salons, even children's play spaces. Now malls, which have tended to be retail-dominant, with a food court or a juice bar stuck in the corner somewhere, want to be more like main streets. At QuadReal Property Group, strate- gists have been studying successful shop- ping streets to see what they can borrow. The Vancouver-based real estate arm of the provincial government's British Columbia Investment Management Corp. owns the Oakridge Centre mall and the former main post office on West Georgia Street, which will house Amazon offices and a commer- cial hub. QuadReal wants to bring the same feel there has been in Gastown or Main Street or South Granville to its projects. "We took bits and pieces from each one. Food and beverage is critically important. It's the catalyst of the energy," says Tara Brockelmann, vice-president of leasing. QuadReal, now redeveloping Oakridge, is looking at pushing up the food-and- beverage proportion there from the 4 to 5 percent it's been in the past to a quarter of the space. In a targeted effort with the 242 lease transactions the mall did in 2019, it also aimed to integrate more of the well- ness businesses that now populate many streetfronts. The third reality of the new retail world is that there's no dichotomy any- more between online and physical retail, no opposition between big bad Amazon and small local independents. Customers are increasingly combining online and in- person shopping strategies; so should every store, even the smallest. "Up to 80 percent of shoppers will look on their phones as they do research or they may transact online while they're standing in a store," says Chrystal Burns, senior vice-president for retail in the West at QuadReal. At Arti- cle, which is online only, marketing direc- tor Duncan Blair says the company hears from buyers who say they first did research by going to stores to look at other products. On the f lip side, products that were once offered only online are now migrat- Canadian retail e-commerce surged 56% year-over-year in April (seasonally adjusted), Statistics Canada reports E-commerce accounts for just 4.5% of online sales in Canada, versus 7.7% in the U.S., according to Texas-based customer analytics firm Buxton Canadians are still "touch-and-feel" shoppers who find importance in brick-and- mortar retail, Buxton observes When Canadians do shop online, here's what they buy,* a 2019 Canada Post survey found 62% Clothing apparel (any) 41% Computers + electronics 31% Books 30% Footwear 29% Beauty products 23% Home + garden 22% Health products 20% Office supplies 17% Toys 17% Home decor 17% Automotive 16% Jewelry 16% Sporting goods 15% Groceries (perishable) SOURCE: CANADA POST *BY PERCENTAGE OF SHOPPERS FOR EACH CATEGORY 42 BCBUSINESS JULY/AUGUST 2020 2019 2020 g

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of BCBusiness - July/August 2020 – Facing the Music