Five questions with James Moller of CrossIron Mills

Calgary retail outlook is generally positive, with new stores and development on the horizon

James Moller is the general manager of the CrossIron Mills shopping centre in Balzac. Moller spoke with Calgary’s Business about the current retail market in Calgary.

Calgary’s Business: What are the latest sales per square foot numbers and traffic numbers for CrossIron and how do they compare with a year ago?

Moller: $660 per square foot. Traffic is 9.2 million, which is even or flat over last year.

CB: What’s your sense of how the retail industry in the Calgary region is these days and why?

James Moller

Moller: Generally pretty optimistic. After a sluggish 2015 and most of 2016, retail sales and optimism started to return in 2017. Retailers started expanding, adding new stores and reinvesting. All of the major enclosed centres are redeveloping, re-merchandising and adding new retail concepts. Saks opened in Chinook, along with a new pedestrian access and food court. Market Mall added Zara, Sporting Life, more parking and expanded SportChek. Deerfoot Meadows is opening Western Canada’s first Nordstrom Rack in April.

CB: What’s new at CrossIron? What’s recently opened or soon to open?

Moller: Polo Ralph Lauren Factory, Lush and Lindt Chocolates opened late in 2017. Aritzia, Rockport and Q Nails will open in April. Later this year, Vintage Coffee, Auntie Anne’s, Japanese dollar store Mimiso and Skechers Superstore will open.

CB: What can we expect for future retailers coming to the mall?

Moller: More experiential, interactive marketing events, more food and beverage offerings, more guest services and amenities. More entertainment offerings.

CB: Are there any more future development plans or is the shopping centre built out to its capacity?

Moller: After completing a 50,000-square-foot, $63-million expansion in 2016-2017, the centre has further capacity and density to expand certain retail units or the building footprint. As well, the land surrounding CIM is going to be further developed with more retail and commercial offerings.

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