16 September 2017 0 Comments Posted By : SIMON DRUKER and ALISON BAILEY

Is Vancouver in a retail real estate crisis?

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Have you noticed more stores with “For Lease” signs hanging from the door when you go shopping in Vancouver?

recent story in Vancouver Magazine suggests we’re headed towards “retail ghost towns,” saying you’re more likely to see those signs dotting trendy shopping districts like South Granville than you are to see luxury brand stores.

The article points to a 12 per cent vacancy rate as evidence and says that figure is likely to rise, suggesting landlords are more interested in future redevelopment of their buildings than they are in securing tenants.

“That (vacancy rate) is significant compared to what South Granville used to be, for example. I think that it is a bit of a sign of the times that people are shifting once again to e-commerce and other sources of buying,” explains Dr. Dianne Cyr with the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University.

She says online shopping is contributing to the retail decline but doubts we’ll eventually have retail ghost towns.

“E-commerce is actually going to continue to rise. But we also have to keep in mind, it’s actually a relatively-small percentage of overall retails sales. E-commerce sales are about seven per cent right now of all retail sales. So, there’s certainly a market for storefront sales.”

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