Can the traditional enclosed shopping mall be on its way out? No more line up of quaint shops and eateries luring adults and teens to spend an afternoon wandering about chatting, texting and window shopping? Perhaps somewhere in the world, yes, but not so much in Canada. We like being able to park the car once and then head for the warmth of an indoor mall, particularly on a snow blown winter’s day.
But there is a growing trend for the construction of what is called a “power centre.” These are sort of like mega malls, with large retail outlets each having their own building and sharing a common parking area. They are convenient and do have just about everything you could want. Think Wal-Mart and Canadian Tire, two frequent retailers at power centres. But the fact that you have to leave the warmth of one store to trudge across an icy lot to another is not quite as attractive as going from shop to shop in blissful warmth.
Despite this fact, almost 30 percent of the retail shopping space is found in power centres. They have only been around for about that the last 15 years so capturing that much of the market is significant. More and more communities are favouring this type of shopping scenario because done correctly; power centres create a small-town main street atmosphere. Smaller versions, village style shopping hubs are also being created in new housing developments.