Retail still has a valuable place in the Canadian commercial property landscape, as fully two-thirds of Canadians have said that they are planning to visit and shop on stores during the holiday season.
A recent study by commercial property brokerage JLL polled 1,000 shoppers nationwide, across various income levels and generations. The survey found that on the whole, the Internet is not yet enough of a factor to keep Canadians away from retail locations.
“The biggest takeaway is that Canadian consumers are leveraging both physical and online stores,” JLL retail research manager Heli Brecailo told the Vancouver Sun.
At the same time, the impact of e-commerce should not be underestimated.
“The penetration of smartphones in Canada is really high, the internet penetration rate is really high. It’s not surprising that Canadians are shopping online,” Brecailo added.
As much as 57% of the JLL respondents said that they will be shopping from online retailers, and more than 30% stated that they would be buying from both online and physical stores.
Earlier this year, CoStar Canada reported that retail continues to be a significant presence in the commercial real estate market, especially in Ontario.
Among the most prominent factors influencing the market is e-commerce, largely due to an emerging expectation for same-day delivery among consumers. This is driving demand for large spaces situated near major habitation and transportation hubs.
PwC director of real estate research Andrew Warren supported these observations, arguing that mixed developments will see a much increased presence in Toronto, largely due to the needs of those residing and working in the city.
Warren argued that such developments are likely to include amenities like dedicated short-term rental space and package receiving rooms. Population growth should also convince developers to integrate co-living space and other alternative housing models.