Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Multi-national retail in city center

Country 94 has a brief story talking about how to fill vacancies in the uptown. Link:

The article indicates that councillor Donna Reardon is pondering how the city could attract big-box brands (perhaps things like Best Buy, Winners, etc.) to put smaller stores in the city centre when running mega-size suburban shops. The article suggests this practice may be in place in some European cities.

1 comment:

christopher said...

The perennial issue with having stores uptown is, as always, parking. Large retailers want the biggest store possible with the most parking possible to be able to attract the most customers possible. Mind you, this is the problem with our current societal norms in that everything is built around the car. I agree that it would be wonderful if Saint John were to develop in such a way that lots of stores in the uptown area would thrive on lots of foot traffic, even if most if it is from workers that commute in for their job. To use your example of Best Buy, it would be difficult to bring home a large purchase on a bus, even if the bus did go to (or even near) your home.

Another problem that I seem to notice when it comes to retail space uptown is the exorbitant rent building owners charge. I heard a rumour (unverified to date) that one of the many reasons Bargain Shop closed down is that their rent was easily quadruple the rent of a location in, say, McAllister Place or East Point. A location that large would be great for a Best Buy but I think the huge rent would turn off a lot of potential lessors.

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