Sears closing boosts Calgary retail vacancy rate

Elevated rate also a result of high turnover in top-tier restaurants, mid-tier fashion closures and the increase in minimum wage: CBRE

Mario ToneguzziThe recent closure of Sears stores in Calgary bumped the city’s retail vacancy rate to more than twice the 10-year average.

In a year-end 2017 report on the retail market, CBRE Group said Sears Canada released more than 650,000 square feet of space back to the Calgary market.

That accounts for 60 per cent of the overall vacancy increase, said the commercial real estate services and investment firm. Vacancies jumped from 3.5 per cent to 6.5 per cent from the first half of the year to the second half.

The 10-year average for retail vacancy in Calgary is 3.02 per cent.

It said the vacant Sears space came from five locations throughout Calgary: Southcentre MallNorth Hill CentreMarlborough MallGlendeer Junction and Sunridge.

Taking the Sears space out of vacancy calculations would leave the city with a vacancy rate of 4.7 per cent, said CBRE.

Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

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