Foot Traffic Up at Malls in Canada as Consumers Return to Brick-and-Mortar [Interview]

Canadian consumers learned last year that shopping in person or buying online and picking up in store is a very efficient and guaranteed way to get what you want during the holiday season.

Jane Domenico

And that trend is continuing this year, said Jane Domenico, Senior Vice President and National Lead, Retail Services with commercial real estate firm Colliers.

“Going into holiday shopping, the malls are back. If you look at the apparel sales and you look at inflation-adjusted sales, it’s a big winner this year. It makes sense to me. A lot of us lived in clothes that you may not go outside in,” said Domenico.

Yorkdale Shopping Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

But people are back to having a social life and taking part in entertainment activities as well as heading into the office.

“Malls, the traffic is exceeding last year and in a lot of malls it’s meeting or exceeding 2019 traffic,” she said. “One of our assets is 30 per cent higher than 2019 traffic. I don’t believe it sometimes.”

That may appear to be contradictory to what’s happening out there as some surveys these days are showing that consumers may be pulling back on holiday shopping due to inflation and rising prices for goods.

But Domenico said when you look at the inflation impact it’s the daily essentials that are affected. Food and gas.

“When you actually look at the sales . . . you have to first start looking at inflation-adjusted sales, not