Retail | Downtown beautification

After a long crossing of the desert marked by a drop in visitor numbers and a drop in sales, merchants in downtown Montreal are gradually reconnecting with consumers. According to data released by real estate agency Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), which calls this recovery “remarkable,” traffic at these retailers increased by 40% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2022.

Posted at 7:00 am

Nathaelle Morissette

Nathaelle Morissette
The press

This improvement would also encourage well-known chains that don’t currently have a store on Sainte-Catherine Street to set up shop there, Manon Larose, senior vice president, retail at JLL, revealed in an interview, but declined to provide more details on it Time. It also commemorates the upcoming arrival of Nike, which will open its doors at the Eaton Center in the spring, and outdoor boutique Chlorophylle.

“There are several retailers who had their plans on hold for 2020 and 2021 that have the capital and are now ready to move forward,” she says.

The return of tourists to the metropolis has contributed significantly to this notable increase in traffic at downtown malls and stores in the second quarter of 2022 compared to the same period last year. At least that is the conclusion of the article. Retail Outlook – Fall 2022 by JLL.

Quebec retailers surveyed by The press confirm that they were able to welcome more customers to their downtown branches than last year. While sales have reached 2019 levels, traffic remains lower than before the pandemic. The return of the students, on the other hand, could enable some catch-up, believes François Roberge, owner of the La Vie en Rose stores.


PHOTO PATRICK SANFAÇON, LA PRESSE ARCHIVE

François Roberge, La Vie en Rose shops

In downtown Montreal, it stagnated for two and a half years. We make up for lost years quickly.

François Roberge, owner of La Vie en Rose stores

Compared to last year, the lingerie and swimwear retailer saw a 32% increase in footfall at its Eaton Center store, 100% at Complexe Desjardins, 49% at its Rue Sainte-Catherine boutique and also a 49% increase . in the Alexis-Nihon shopping mall. Out of a total of four stores, three had sales equal to or higher than 2019, the year before the pandemic.

“The return of people to offices is gradual, it is certain that it will have an impact,” adds Manon Larose for his part.

“In 2021, people just wanted to get out of their homes. Now they not only want to go out, but also go shopping again. »

Lili Fortin, President of Tristan, also notes that more people are walking the streets and remains cautious. “Sure, if we compare it to 2021 or 2020, it was such a difficult year that we have very good numbers,” she recalls.

Sales at his store on the corner of Sainte-Catherine and Metcalfe streets have reached 2019 levels, but even in his case traffic remains lower. In July they were 20% lower than the data recorded before the arrival of COVID-19.

We are demanding because we want to get back to pre-pandemic traffic levels. But there is still a long way to go.

Lili Fortin, President of Tristan

“I hope it stays that way. We are not immune to anything, neither contagion nor recession, and I think the pandemic has taught us that. »

All over the island

Additionally, “retailers across the island of Montreal have benefited from a resurgence in business activity,” notes JLL. According to Statistics Canada, categories such as personal care (+52%), apparel (+51%) and footwear (+39%) saw higher sales in the first five months of 2022 compared to the same period last year. Sales of furniture and renovation products fell by 20%. “These declines are due to current supply issues in these categories,” writes JLL.

Some upcoming retail openings

  • Nike (Eaton Center): Spring 2023
  • Supermarket T & T (Avenue Sainte-Croix): December 2022
  • Decathlon (Central Market): Summer 2023

Source : Retail Outlook – Fall 2022

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