Montreal Outlet Centre To Be 2nd High-End Facility Of Its Kind

Posted: Updated: 05/23/2012 9:04 am

MONTREAL -- Canadian and American developers plan to build a high-end shopping outlet centre north of Montreal that's expected to create as many as 800 full- and part-time retail jobs and will be marketed as a tourist destination.

"Shopping and vacations go hand-in-hand, thankfully,'' said Michele Rothstein, spokeswoman for U.S.-based Premium Outlets, a division of the Simon Property Group, the major partner in the development.

Construction should begin this year on the outlet centre in the Town of Mirabel, becoming the second Premium Outlet Centre in Canada, Rothstein said Tuesday.

PHOTOS: U.S. RETAILERS COMING TO CANADA

The other outlet centre is being built west of Toronto in the Town of Halton Hills.

It's expected the new centre, which will be called Montreal Premium Outlets, will also draw on Montreal-area shoppers, Rothstein said.

Indiana-based Simon Property Group Inc., Toronto's Calloway Real Estate Investment Trust and Toronto-area SmartCentres are developing the Quebec outlet centre, which will have at least 80 stores and restaurants.

Financial details weren't released, but the Simon Property Group will own 50 per cent of the roughly $150 million project.

Names of stores for the Montreal- and Toronto-area outlets haven't been released yet. Stores at U.S.-based Premium Outlets include: Burberry, Kenneth Cole, J. Crew, Perfume Outlet, Cole Haan, Chef's Outlet and Vans.

There will be between 600 and 800 full- and part-time retail jobs as well as construction jobs, totalling several thousand jobs associated with the project, Rothstein said.

She said many Canadians are already familiar with Premium Outlets in places like Las Vegas, Orlando, Fla., and New York.

"We know that when you are on vacation and travelling, outlet centres are a fun destination to look for and to spend some time. To plan an afternoon,'' she said.

"We work with tourism bureaus locally and regionally to position the centre as a must-visit, but that doesn't negate the importance of the local and regional shoppers.''

Al Mawani, president and CEO of Calloway, said some of the tenants at the 350,00-square-foot Quebec outlet will be new to Canada.

"`You have a collection of high fashion stores priced at a bit of a discount to what you might get for the same merchandise, if you could get it, in the downtown stores,'' Mawani said.

Retail analyst John Winter said the Montreal outlet will bring more choice to consumers and isn't expected to hurt the downtown core.

"It's increasing the variety and the options,'' said Winter of John Winter Associates Ltd. in Toronto.

If it's close to a major highway, it will be easy for tourists to get to, he said.

"Consumers want choice. They will probably bring in some new establishments that will increase the range of choice in the Montreal area. If it is the magnet that developers argue, then the vicinity will be crowded with stores and services, too. So it will be a big node that will expand.''

Simon Property Group currently owns or has an interest in 337 retail real estate properties in North America and Asia.

Calloway is one of Canada's largest real estate investment trusts. It owns and manages approximately 25 million square feet in 127 retail centres.

U.S. RETAILERS COMING TO CANADA

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  • Bloomingdale's

    The iconic American upscale retailer is in talks with Hudson's Bay Company to become a "store within a store" at HBC locations in Canada. The move is seen as an attempt by The Bay to fight off the possible arrival of Nordstrom's (see next slide).

  • Nordstrom

    One of the most prominent competitors to Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom announced in September, 2012, that it plans to open locations in Cadillac Fairview-owned malls in Calgary, Ottawa and Vancouver. The stores will open in former Sears locations.

  • Marshalls

    Discount retailer Marshalls entered the Canadian market in March, 2011, and recently announced an expansion of six new stores in Ontario. At least a dozen of its 750 stores are now located in Canada.

  • Lowe's

    The home improvement retailer began moving into the Canadian market in 2007, with a store in Hamilton, Ontario. It has since expanded to 31 locations in Ontario and Alberta.

  • J. Crew

    Ritzy fashion chain J. Crew opened its first Canadian location in the summer of 2011, and immediately ran into public anger about the U.S.-Canada price gap. Shoppers complained that J. Crew's Canadian prices were about 15 per cent higher than in the U.S.

  • Target

    The arrival of Target to Canada in 2013 is easily the most hotly-anticipated retail arrival since Walmart came north of the border in 1994. The discount retailer is planning more than 100 stores across the country, having taken over a significant number of Zellers locations. But the store is currently engaged in a labour dispute, as it tries to keep former Zellers employees from unionizing in the new stores.

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