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Saskatchewan's Booming Retail Market Continues To Garner Interest From Retailers at Whistler Conference

Monday, January 27, 2013

Canada’s influential retailers, landlords and commercial brokers meet semi-annually in Whistler and Toronto for retail conferences. ICSC, International Council of Shopping Centre, does an outstanding job of bringing tenants and landlords together to provide an opportunity for national growth of the retail sector.  The winter conference, which is currently underway in Whistler, has provincial broker, ICR commercial real estate, promoting the province while courting retailers to bring new and exciting retailers to the province. As the conference started Monday morning, it was evident that retailers and developers’ interest was high for Saskatchewan markets.  “Our booth looked like a Tim Horton’s drive through on a Monday morning,” said Phill Elenko, managing partner at ICR commercial real estate.  “The eight ICR agents who attended were inundated with retailers seeking to expand their businesses into Saskatchewan. This one of a kind, retail-deal-making arena has been going on for 25 years and for the last 20 of those years, ICR has attended.”

The conference brings together landlords, agents, developers and retailers as all parties involved are eagerly looking for their next opportunity to enter untapped markets. As interest from retailers continues to gain momentum for the province, Saskatoon and Regina have become strategic locations for retailers looking to expand their operations into Saskatchewan. With a vast list of retailers exploring their options for expansion into the province, retail-giants Lowe’s, who currently have a location in Regina, have renewed their interest in expanding their operations into Saskatoon. “This year Saskatchewan’s secondary markets are also on most retailers’ radars. ICR is the only company that tracks these markets and their growth.  As ICR is a provincial company, we strive to provide the best market information for clients; and the addition of the small market reports has allowed us to bring more information to aspiring retailers looking at these markets,” Elenko stated. Along with interest for expansion into the province’s small markets such as Lloydminster, Swift Current, and Estevan; interests for emerging neighbourhoods like Holmwood were at the fore-front of many conversations.
As the convention concludes, ICR’s agents are optimistic to be returning home with successful leads that may help bring new retailers to the market. Interest for the Westside of the city, such as Confederation Mall & 20th Street; have gathered pace over the past few months, particularly from national retailers. Opportunities for retailers to enter the market in the near future exist as an upwards of 300,000 SF are anticipated to be introduced by 2016.