In the past few years, Canada has seen a plethora of large businesses close shop across the country. Businesses such as Target, Sears, Gymboree, and Payless have (or are currently) closed their doors due to lackluster profits generated in Canada. With that being said, these former big-box shops are now vacant lots that desired to be filled. Some of these lots have been filled while others still remain vacant.

The question dawning on the industry is – what has already filled these vacancies and what is yet to come?


Foreign Shop Owners

Taking a stroll through the mall or a commercial plaza, you may come across a Muji, Oomomo, or Uniqlo. These Japanese retail giants were not shy when it came to expanding their retail business to Canada. Shops, such as these, provide products once not readily available to Canadians or products Canadians had to wait for in regards to shipping. Since their migration to Canada, these shops have seen great success.

Beyond just the products, foreign shops offer a unique sense of diversity and culture. Canadians can engulf themselves in an atmosphere that was once not prevalent. The mix of a unique experience and new products readily available to Canadians has sufficiently increased and maintaining foot traffic to foreign businesses. The possibility of these and other foreign businesses continuing their expansion in Canada is highly probable.


Food Halls

Similar to foreign shops, food halls thrive off of the harmony between products and experience. Going out to eat continues to be an activity enjoyed by many, ergo, expanding on experience is imperative to increase traction. A successful indictment of a food hall came to Upper Canada Mall in recent years. Market & Co. filled the vacancy from what was once Target and has been thriving in the space. Market & Co. not only provides visitors with a place to eat, but a place to purchase items and immerse themselves in the world of cooking through various classes they offer.

Food halls do an exceptional job are attracting various demographics; foodies and shoppers, for example. Food halls also work on the online world, utilizing social media to draw in even more traffic. Whilst they aren’t seen in many places across Canada just yet, there is a great chance we will see a saturation of food halls filling vacancies in the near future.

Albeit, many vacancies have been filled, there are still huge lots looking for investors and businesses alike to do just that. Foreign shops and food halls have seen great success thus far and it would come to no surprise that these types of businesses will fill even more vacancies across Canada.


Learn more about how Canada plans on successfully filling large vacancies here: