Canadians Kickstart Holiday Shopping Early This Year

Although we’re still a couple weeks shy of the holidays, Canadians are already feeling the holiday spirit. 

Gift shopping is in full swing as more and more people are visiting their local malls and plazas, no doubt with the intention of beating the holiday rush. 

Not to be outdone, retailers are restocking the shelves and going all out with their marketing gimmicks to drive shoppers to their doors. 

‘Tis the season to think ahead!


Retailers Are Reimagining Their Holiday Strategies

That’s right! All over, we’re noticing retail giants accelerating their holiday plans to evolve in a year that has been completely transformed by the pandemic. 

The trend is two-fold. Some retailers are going full throttle on attracting buyers early to their stores whereas others are spending their dimes on online storefronts. 

What safety precautions are physical in-store retailers taking these holidays to protect their patrons?

For one, we’re seeing the mandatory use of PPE for both clerks and customers, and the installation of hand sanitization stations at key entry and exit points. 

Some are even going so far as to build queue shelters outside for people during the rain, wind and snow.

That being said, the anxiety of lower revenues this year as a result of fewer impulse purchases and financial drawbacks are a concern for many retailers. 


Canadian Shoppers Still Seem to Love In-Store Shopping

PwC Canada’s 2020 Holiday Outlook still estimates that 59% of Canadian consumers will complete their holiday shopping in-stores this year. 

One potential reason?

Most of these shoppers belong to the 55+ year age group, and 60% of whom are planning to drop by a physical store to purchase at least 3/4 of their gifts. 

As for Gen X and Gen Z, 45% and 50% respectively are planning to complete their holiday shopping from a physical outlet. 


Online Shoppers Are Still Expecting Curbside Pick-up at the Outlet

33% of online shoppers are still gravitating towards curbside pickup. The reason? Greater convenience. Shoppers don’t want to have to wait even 1 or 2 days more for their packages to arrive. 

This way, they still get their stuff early, while beating the in-store rush. 


Retailers Need to Evolve to the COVID Way of Life

It’s natural that retailers who resist change in the face of this pandemic will struggle to turn a profit. 

The strategic ones who pivot in time will experience immense success and survive during this daunting year of uncertainty. 


To Recap

The holiday shopping season is well underway in Canada, however, most stores and patrons are keeping health and safety at the forefront. 

Retailers are moving to adapt their stores to survive during these uncertain times. Even the smallest of strategic changes can help them close the gap in revenues that will arise due to the pandemic. 

While most shoppers are sticking to physical shopping, we’re also seeing a growing trend of online stores that have enforced interesting marketing tactics to entice the wary shopper. 

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Omnichannel: Creating Online and Offline Experiences for Customers

The way consumers shop has changed exponentially over the years. To no surprise, consumers are now shopping both online and offline. With the rise of e-commerce, the ability to obtain goods has grown significantly. Some brands choose to stay brick-and-mortar while some choose to stay strictly e-commerce. While sticking to one stream works for many, the best way to encapsulate a wider array of consumers is to create experiences both online and offline which is also known as omnichannel retailing.

What is omnichannel in regards to retail?

Omnichannel includes the sale of goods/service in both physical and digital means. For example, a clothing store has a physical location where people can shop as well as an online catalogue/website where they can make purchases as well. In essence, omnichannel is being wherever the customer is.

How can adopting an omnichannel model help retail shop owners?

With the growth of e-commerce becoming more and more prevalent, there have been many retailers who have been forced to close their doors due to their inability to compete with the convenience factor e-commerce shopping has. On the other hand, e-commerce lacks that in-person experience many look for. 

Omni-channel caters to those who want a convenient method of shopping and those who yearn for that in-person experience. The ability to cater to two different demographics can help retail owners increase their profit and reach significantly more consumers than they would sticking to one stream.

How can retail shop owners create a digital presence?

Creating a digital presence takes time, but is a well worth it process. Many retailers create (or hire someone to create) a catalogue-type website that displays all the products eligible to be sold online. Retail shop owners can connect this to social media, create digital ads, or promote it through their physical location.

Adopting an omnichannel model can help retail businesses increase their overall traffic and profit. It all comes down to analyzing whether the business can cater to the digital space and how it will and work for the other all betterment of the business.

Want to learn more about the omnichannel experience? Read on here!


Niche Businesses Paving the Way for Retailers

Toronto is a city full of diversity; from its people right down to its cuisine. With the increase of diverse immigrants flocking to Canada came an influx of new businesses, unbeknownst to Toronto at one point. One major proponent immigrants brought to Canada is the authentic cuisine of their native land. A popular cuisine that has made its way into the commercial scene in Toronto is Syrian food.


Those who made a new home from Syria to Canada have created unity with Canadians through their food. Many, however, face a few barriers – language being a major one – making it difficult to find work in this economy. Thus, many have resorted to opening their own businesses, selling their favourite native cuisine.


What can large and small retailers alike learn from foreigners?


Many retailers think on a grandeur scale, adhering to large trends and technological advancements to further heighten their business models. Tech disruptions and the decline of trends can be detrimental to this strategy. While everyone would like to develop a utilitarian approach and provide for the masses, there is opportunity barely uncovered in niches such as Syrian restaurants and markets.


When it comes to booming business, many don’t consider niche businesses to be at the forefront of profit generation, however, foreigners are proving there is substantial room for monetary gain within businesses that are authentic. These businesses typically have a base of extremely loyal customers who not only come back but bring in new crowds as well, creating even more revenue.


When it comes to investments in the commercial industries, retailers can take a note from foreign businesses that bring a touch of their old home to their new home. Many niche businesses remain in business for long periods of time due to the loyal customer base and curiosity of Canadians.


Learn more about the Syrian food trend in Toronto and how small businesses continue to flourish across the booming city:—syrian-food-trend-in-toronto


Canada’s Retail Sector: What’s Maintaining it’s Strong Presence in the Market?

Amidst the rise of e-commerce and the ability to purchase nearly everything via your smartphone or computer, many have shown concern when it comes to the retail market. While e-commerce provides a convenient means of obtaining consumer needs, the physical retail market possesses a plethora of attributes that keep consumer traffic running steady. Marcus and Millichap reported that in 2018, transactions online increased by 20% however, only 4% of the Canadian retail activity took a hit. The unique traits physical retail markets encompass contribute highly to their authority within the consumer market.



A major factor contributing to the continued success of retail shops is the consumer experience. The ability to physically interact with tangible means and various services bodes well with consumers. Retail stores, such as clothing shops, continue to see a high amount of consumer traffic; this can be correlated to the desire for consumers to try-on clothing and browse various outlets.

Service-oriented businesses providing services such as fitness centres and restaurants thrive due to the desire for a memorable experience that cannot be obtained through digital means. The ability to create an experience and explore tangible elements continues to be a strong point for the Canadian retail market.


High-end markets

Canada’s retail real estate market continues to thrive when it comes to high-end sales. While luxury goods can be obtained online, many looking to spend copious amounts of money on a product or service would rather do so in person to ensure they are getting their moneys’ worth. The wave of tourism in Canada also contributes to the influx of luxury goods purchased in Canada. Marcus and Millichap reported a 2.4% rise in luxury expenditures in relation to tourism within Canada in the third quarter of 2018. For those in the high-end retail market, the sales continue to grow thanks to the boom of tourism and the demand for luxury products.


Moving into 2019, the forecast predicts favourable outcomes for retail real estate investors. Albeit, the growth of e-commerce is moving rapidly, the plethora of attributes retail shops provide to consumers can ensure their place within the realm of shopping remains at a high.

Learn more about Canada’s retail sector growth here:

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Commercial Property Investments Show No Signs of Slowing Down in Canada

Canada is home to a multifarious of opportunities in the commercial property investment sector. From the suburban portions that boast significantly lower costs to the heart of major cities that boast convenience for consumers, there is something for everyone when it comes to commercial property investments.


Towards the end of 2018, commercial property investments were still running strong and 2019 is set to be a prime year for investors in the space. Despite the departure of a surfeit of massive brick-and-mortar chains, the demand for retail, industrial, and other commercial properties remains high. With the demand for these spaces remaining high, the supply is low; causing an uproar in competition and pricing.


Cities such as Toronto tend to be the safest for investment funds due to the diverse economy the city boasts, however with that being said, supply is especially low. Ergo, prices for commercial real estate are significantly higher in Toronto and cities alike and properties tend to stay on the market for very short periods of time, with many jumping at the opportunity to own property in such a diverse city.


On the other hand, places such as Alberta are seeing an intense increase in investments, mainly due to the affordability in the market when compared to larger, more dense areas such as Toronto. This back the motion that the commercial property market is not slowing down any time soon; people will continue to invest in prime real estate, whether it be in the big city or the reasonably priced outskirts.


What’s the forecast for retail investments in Canada?


As previously mentioned, the commercial real estate market is showing no signs of slowing down and growth is inevitable as we move further into 2019. The retail markets, in particular, are showing vast growth due to the possession of in-person customer experience that many individuals still look for when shopping. Tech sectors are also seeing continuous growth and account for a significant amount of commercial property investments.


The trends for 2019 are looking up when it comes to commercial real estate as more and more people are seeing the opportunities arising from Canada.


Read more about commercial property investments and their place in the Canadian market here:

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Commercial Real Estate Shows Little Fear with Talks of Recession Appearing

Towards the end of 2018, we saw a slow down in US GDP which has had its share of ramifications on a grandeur scale. These numbers could be an indication of a potential recession heading to Canada. For a surfeit of industries, a recession can vastly impact their market, causing significant loses. Ergo, key planning is vital.


Recessions impact every market differently. There are those that are swept away by the quick current of financial demise and there are those that are heavily insulated; showing little to no slow down. The tech sector and smart retailers are among the heavily insulated industries, boasting little impact in regards to the former great recession. What does this mean for commercial real estate investors and tech sectors alike?


Granting all of this, these industries are comprised of traits that can keep them afloat through a financial crisis. Well-positioned commercial property owners, specifically, can see little to fear yet again should another recession arise. A plethora of retailers are beating out analysts’ forecasts. Loblaws is a prime example of a commercial retailer thriving with increases in both revenue and net profit. The harmonious merge with a tech team has allowed them to grow without compromising their physical stature.


Another key component that commercial real estate possesses is physicality. Although consumers can purchase pretty much anything online nowadays, there is still an enticing aspect of taking a trip to the local shop. Service plays a major role in this, with a majority of shoppers returning to brick-and-mortar places for the personable service offered. In sum, despite growth in e-commerce, commercial real estate is still thriving and through a global financial crisis, they still reign as heavy-hitting contenders.


Read more about how Canadian Commercial Real Estate is withstanding the test of global and economic issues:

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Retail Real Estate: A Worthwhile Investment Going Strong in 2019

When deciding where you want to invest, it’s imperative that you conduct a significant amount of research into various investment streams in order to ensure you are making the optimal choice for your needs. Some investments, such as stocks or opening your own storefront, come with some potentially high risk and can be vastly time-consuming. Albeit, these investments have proven successful for a plethora of individuals, however, some are still in search of opportunities to allocate their funds elsewhere.


Despite the rise of e-commerce businesses, shopping plazas are still going strong. Malls continue to be filled with eager shoppers, smaller plazas continue to see visitors coming for niche products they may not get elsewhere. Similar to any other investment, retail properties require a high-degree of time, research, and planning. Location, space, and size are amongst some of the factors one must keep in mind when considering a retail property and returns are often contingent on said factors. For example, a shopping plaza in Toronto’s downtown core will cost more than one further out from the city, however, due to a higher saturation of potential consumers in the downtown core, the ability to generate significant profit within a shorter time frame is plausible.


Aside from the aforementioned factors, there are many surfacing trends that are contributing to the continual success of retail shopping plazas. From the rise of cannabis post-legalization to massive retail giants pledging astronomical funds to aid the growth of retail real estate, there are several indicators that pose benefits for shopping plaza investors.

What is driving the retail world to success currently? Why is an investment in retail real estate beneficial? Read the full article here:


Adding Local Shopping Plazas To Investment Portfolios – Richard Crenian

Although direct investment in this asset class may float under the radar of many individual Canadian investors and families, it comes with many critical benefits. Those benefits may be even better for those getting in right now, given new investments in related enterprises and the strong demand for Canadian real estate from the investors around the world.

Yes there are many charities to support around the world. There are also nice-looking, cheap condos to retire to abroad. Yet, when it comes to investments and establishing a business why not do it close to home?

Canada’s shopping plaza outlook is positive, especially if Canadians continue to invest and support their local economies. As stated by provincial Alberta based grocery chain Freson, “there’s really nobody championing Alberta products, Alberta producers. We’re Albertan. We’ve been here for 63 years”. The Freson Bros. and other Canadian investors believe the outlook is bright for small businesses and home grown products, if their given the attention they deserve. That investment comes back to us in many ways, financially and in community.

Ask billionaire investor Sam Zell the secret to making money and smart financial moves. He’ll tell you it’s all about supply and demand. The world loves Canada, the investment opportunities and the future it offers. It only makes sense that we see that benefit from being involved in supplying the demand, and not just giving it all away. Foreign homebuyers just can’t get enough of our properties nor can commercial real estate investors. Even Peter Thiel’s new venture capital firm Atomic VC is focused on Canada and its talent with its investment in Terminal.

If there is one thing we all need, and will only need more of in the future (besides air and water) it is passive income. Too few investments offer reliable streams of truly passive income with good returns. Shopping plaza investments can offer the passive income that we need.

Commercial property investments in these assets are also great for facilitating wealth growth. This can be organic or controlled by redevelopment, improvements and smarter leasing and management.

Real estate is a hard, tangible asset. While global markets may boom and bust, and even individual assets may fluctuate in value over time, these properties have concrete value and income potential. In tough economic times local shopping plazas are typically the last to take the hit and first to bounce back. This can be critical for those looking for reliable retirement investments.