Luxury fashion brand Prada is set to open a spacious store on downtown Vancouver’s Alberni Street very soon. With an impressive 7,700 square meters to play with, the Italian brand is launching its first “Made-to-Measure” service in Canada.
Prada is not alone in recognising the potential of Vancouver’s expanding luxury retail market, which is located between the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver on West Georgia Street and the Shangri-La Hotel on Alberni Street. Over the last five years Burberry, Versace, Dior De Beers, Rolex, Moncler and Strellson have all moved into retail spaces in this downtown zone, creating a local version of LA’s world renowned Rodeo Drive. High-end jewellers Tiffany and Co., a longstanding brand in Vancouver, is also expected to expand its retail presence from 2,000 square feet to 14,000 square feet this year.
With 21 free-standing premium brand stores in this small corner of downtown, Vancouver is only second to Toronto’s prestigious Bloor Street in Canada. As business brokers in Vancouver report multiple offers from premium brands for street-level retail spaces on Alberni, demand could see this zone increase to include neighbouring streets.
Vancouver’s buoyant high-end retail market is driven in part by wealthy Asians living or visiting the city, as well as year-round tourists from other countries. With a low dollar and equally low commodity prices, Vancouver understandably continues to attract international money. In addition, some European and Australian brands use Vancouver as a testing ground before they take the leap into the US market. On the national front, the British Columbia population also has more money in its wallet given that the province lead the country with the creation of 52,000 new jobs last year.
This special status is reflected in the predicted increase in lease rates for 2016. Retail analysts expect net rent per square foot to sit comfortably between $130 and $160 this year.
Engaging the services of a business broker in Vancouver can help both investors and vendors navigate their way through the intricacies of the local market. They can help to identify the best locations and the right time to buy and the right time to dispose of a property in the most effective and profitable way.
(NEW PRADA STORE COMING TO VANCOUVER’S ALBERNI STREET, InsideVancouver.ca)