MEMORABLE MOMENTS IN ONTARIO RETAILING

 

© John Winter Associates Limited

Two Wheeler Avenue, Suite 201

Toronto, ON, M4L 3V2

416-691-1870, fax: 416-694-6258

 

MILLENNIUM

 

2000    Ontario hits 11.6 million people, double the population of 1958. Now only about ten percent of the non-auto, non-food sales are conducted downtown. Only a small fraction of the population, however, can remember the way it used to be, and this proportion is getting smaller.

 

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2000    In terms of Ontario sales per capita, we have finally passed the former peak personal expenditure year of 1988. Not for long: Ontario would show no real growth in per capita expenditure for the next decade.

 

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2003    Canadian dollar starts to rise against the American but, unlike the late 1980s, cross-border shopping does not increase. Many of the alternative chains are in Ontario, and the line-ups with enhanced security have become more severe. In 2009, six percent of Canadians went over the border per month; in 1991, the ratio was 16 percent.

 

 

2004    Vaughan Mills, 1.2 million square feet, opens on November 4. Gridlock for miles. Someone forgets that Canada's Wonderland parking could have been used!

 

2005    Only small Ontario communities such as Dunnville, 6,000 population, have a downtown to protect (with a retail share of 80 percent); all other communities have seen such market shares evaporate, and now there is less attention throughout the Province on retail studies.

 

2006    Investor Jerry Zucker buys the entire Hudson Bay empire for 1.13 billion.

 

2008    Gas prices soar in the financial meltdown: consumers no longer travel very long distances to purchase at retail. Our research shows inflows to major trade areas down. American tourists also down.

 

2008    July NRDC Equity buys HBC for 1.8 billion.

 

2011    January Zellers sold for 1.8 billion to Target (some $8.2 million per store, plus another $10 million per store in renovations). The opening of some 15 million square feet spooks the market + retail has not recovered = much vacancy and not much new construction. With up to 18 million square feet of Zellers off the market, General Merchandise sales in 2012 were only 0.1 percent down in Ontario compared to 2011, which suggests that the other everyday low cost department store picked up the available share.

 

2011    Statscan releases its survey of Ontario ‘Electronic and Mail’ sales, $1.7 billion, almost exactly one percent of Ontario’s total 2011 sales, $160.6 billion for 2011. Internet shopping is not a very large component of total sales, yet.

 

2012    October HBC IPO, the stores are doing $124 per square foot, considerably less than their historical performance. They did $124 psf in 1992, and the inflation rate has been 42 percent since then.

 

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