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jimtan
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Shocking amount of retail vacancies

Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:06 pm

Shocking amount of retail vacancies

Took a walk on Saturday. Lot's of vacancies and closing sales along Main, Granville, Broadway etc. Some large stores vaunt for many months.

Obviously, Canada is stalled at this level of strong C$. As USA recovers, will BoC raise rates? Or, allow C$ to weaken?

Does the Conservative government dare to balance the budget with spending cuts?

How long can construction activity continue in BC?

Let's hear from the knowledgeable people.
 
vanpro
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Re: Shocking amount of retail vacancies

Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:32 pm

You are just now realizing how bad the Vancouver economy is???

I have been posting lots of data on this for along time now, apparently falling on your deaf ears and blinder covered eyes (see my previous posts on RBC CDN cities economic reports which comes out monthly using Statistics Canada monthly jobs and other reports - Vancouver is WAY behind all major cities in terms of jobs, population growth etc...), also see my previous posts on hotel vacancies in Vancouver and Vancouver restaurant closures citing bad economic conditions in Vancouver - the only thing we lead the nation in is house prices: by factor of 2-3 times Alberta cities (which have strongest economies and incomes)....all of which is counter-evidence to the theory that outside billionaires are coming here and fueling our real estate market - that would be a major boost to our economy if there actually was an outside supply of capital coming here to buy houses and spend billionaire incomes on local goods and services.... How sustainable are Vancouver house prices being 2-3 times prices in other economically stronger Canadian cities?
 
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Re: Shocking amount of retail vacancies

Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:57 pm

You can add Robson, Denman, Davie and West Pender to that list. I've never seen vacancies like this. Large and prime locations (like the former HMV at the corner of Robson and Burrard, the former Esprit store on Robson, and the former Blockbuster Video store on Robson) Tons of new retail commercial built 5ish years ago that has NEVER had a tenant. Plenty of dead restaurants downtown in fairly prime locations that are closed but no action to clean up and make way for the new (Japanese restaurant at top of Denman and Georgia, the former Irashi on West Pender, and the former Unicode(sp?) on Robson between Jervis and Bute, others on Denman who's names I can't remember off hand.) A whole block was raised on Denman for a new structure, but judging by the For Lease sign and SQF avail, nothing has been leased out.

In addition to the retail, there are whole small office buildings empty in north of Robson area. I don't know the addresses and the buildings are all pretty non-descript. But again, judging by the for lease signs, some of the whole buildings are vacant. Others have many floors available.
 
gse36
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Re: Shocking amount of retail vacancies

Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:07 pm

why bother shopping retail here. everybody just goes to the US...... its so close anyway.

only restaurants and entertainment and the few retail things where stateside doesn't make a difference will survive
 
VanLord
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Re: Shocking amount of retail vacancies

Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:58 pm

like the former HMV at the corner of Robson and Burrard, the former Esprit store on Robson, and the former Blockbuster Video store on Robson
I think these two are bad examples, since this isn't exactly due to a bad Vancouver economy, but rather the collapse of the traditional bricks and mortar movie rental and music sales business models. I'm guessing the blockbuster will be rezoned in due course, and the HMV space will find a new tenant to take over. I'm sure it takes time to find a retailer that can take on such a large prime location.

In other news, Sears is closing its downtown location in Vancouver....but also Calgary and Ottawa. This may actually be good news since at least one large US retailer is in the hunt for the Vancouver location

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2 ... illac.html
 
dot com refugee
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Re: Shocking amount of retail vacancies

Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:50 am

But VanLord, doesn't every vacancy have a story behind it? I'm less concerned about why one business closed (failed to adapt / remain relevant) and more concerned about the lack of new ones taking their places. Some of the vacancies on Denman have been that way since prime tourist time last summer. The quantity is shocking. You really should take a walk north down Granville to Robson, west to Denman, south to Davie, and east to Burrard. Bring a notebook and jot down what you see. A side trip through the small office buildings north of Robson in the Coal Harbour area will make for a disturbing sideline. It is not looking good and I hope things improve soon.
 
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jesse1
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Re: Shocking amount of retail vacancies

Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:28 am

A friend of mine had a child recently and then opined how many strollers he kept seeing at the mall and claimed there was a baby boom. He wasn't looking for them before but they were always there. The data don't indicate a baby boom, at least in the same magnitude as 20 or 45 years ago.

Regarding retail vacancies, are there any data on the subject? Anecdotes and specific instances are fraught with confirmation bias.
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jimtan
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Re: Shocking amount of retail vacancies

Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:47 am

In other news, Sears is closing its downtown location in Vancouver....but also Calgary and Ottawa. This may actually be good news since at least one large US retailer is in the hunt for the Vancouver location

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2 ... illac.html
I agree. Canada's and Vancouver's economy is in transition. Canada will have to learn to export like Sweden and Germany despite high costs and strong dollar.

It is not an option to cut wages.

In Vancouver, we will have to add value to services and retail. Some retailers are striving. What are they doing right?
 
eyesthebye
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Re: Shocking amount of retail vacancies

Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:09 am

jesse1"]A friend of mine had a child recently and then opined how many strollers he kept seeing at the mall and claimed there was a baby boom. He wasn't looking for them before but they were always there. The data don't indicate a baby boom, at least in the same magnitude as 20 or 45 years ago.
looks like we were at about 8,000 births for city of 'Vancouver back in the late 80's early 90's.
We're now just a shade over 6,000 with most areas down the past 20 years.
Notably, the sub area to see an increase is Vancouver city centre (from about 500 births late 80s to over 700 now)
http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/Statistics ... stics.aspx

So no baby boom - unless your friend lives downtown.
the cure for higher prices is moving to a destination with lower prices
 
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jesse1
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Re: Shocking amount of retail vacancies

Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:23 pm

Vancouver city centre
Vancouver city centre has way more density now than it did 20 years ago. No surprise the # births is up, but the birth rate is down. No big surprise, really; families with young children are moving to the 'burbs. More age-appropriate shopping choices ;)
There is no shame in overpaying
 
jimtan
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Re: Shocking amount of retail vacancies

Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:21 pm

More Metro Vancouver employers plan to hire new employees than cut existing staff in the coming quarter, although most firms plan no workforce changes leaving a relatively stable job-creation climate over the coming months, according to the latest survey from the recruiting firm Manpower released Tuesday.

Among Metro Vancouver firms included in Manpower’s quarterly Employment Outlook Survey, 23 per cent of respondents said they planned to hire people in the next three months compared with four per cent that said they need to cut staff.

Then 73 per cent plan no changes in staff, and no firms reported being unsure about hiring intentions to the end of June.

Jeff Polkinghorne from Manpower’s Vancouver office said the results “[indicate] a steady hiring pace for the coming months.”


Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Me ... z1p3tVVrYk
 
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Re: Shocking amount of retail vacancies

Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:54 pm

Jesse: point taken.

I see Colliers does publish information on this subject. Most recent Vancouver report linked: here.

Linked report mentions recent retail market activity has been the worst in 20 years, however with a recent improvement in activity. Robson Street lease rates trending down and vacancies trending up (supporting my anecdotes above.)

Reports for other cities available here. Enjoy.
 
vanreal
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Re: Shocking amount of retail vacancies

Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:30 pm

Vancouver city centre
Vancouver city centre has way more density now than it did 20 years ago. No surprise the # births is up, but the birth rate is down. No big surprise, really; families with young children are moving to the 'burbs. More age-appropriate shopping choices ;)
More like families can't afford the city so they have to move to the burbs
 
bhp
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Re: Shocking amount of retail vacancies

Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:22 am

Just heard the Book Warehouse http://www.bookwarehouse.ca/ is closing all locations as their lease expires. Pretty sad ...
 
IKnow
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Re: Shocking amount of retail vacancies

Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:03 am

the only thing we lead the nation in is house prices: by factor of 2-3 times Alberta cities (which have strongest economies and incomes)....all of which is counter-evidence to the theory that outside billionaires are coming here and fueling our real estate market - that would be a major boost to our economy if there actually was an outside supply of capital coming here to buy houses and spend billionaire incomes on local goods and services.... How sustainable are Vancouver house prices being 2-3 times prices in other economically stronger Canadian cities?
There's no counter-evidence, every thing you see can be consistent!
Vancouver is an odd singularity - high house prices and lousy economic conditions exist together.
I'm in the camp which believes in outside China money that keeps the house price impossibly high for locals.
But rich mainland chinese only spend money in a narrow spectrum of foods and goodies, so not contributing to many businesses.

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