November 30, 2022

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Fashion, The needs of women

Richmond mall, outlet prepares for Black Friday shoppers

Richmond’s malls are expecting more shoppers in brick-and-mortar stores than last year.

Richmond’s malls are expecting more shoppers in brick-and-mortar stores than last year.

In 2020, Richmond businesses were adjusting to new COVID-19 restrictions and extended their Black Friday deals to lure people in over a week or more to avoid a rush of customers.

This year, both McArthurGlen Outlet and CF Richmond Centre say they are anticipating more foot traffic coming in for Black Friday sales.

Robert Thurlow, general manager of McArthurGlen Group, said they have seen a “consistent uplift in traffic” compared to 2020.

“We are anticipating to see an increase of 20 to 25 per cent more people than last year,” said Thurlow, adding that in-person shopping may increase due to delayed shipping of online purchases because of recent floods.

“Certainly foot traffic won’t be anywhere near 2019 levels because of course … we often get a lot of international tourists, and right now it’s more about local catchment.”

Global supply chains were crimped for much of 2021 – long before the atmospheric river drenched much of the province from Nov. 13 to 15 with rain and disrupted transportation lines. 

Much of the global supply slowdown was induced by strong demand for everything from furniture to electronics to sporting goods, as people spent less on travel, entertainment and restaurants because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Thurlow told the Richmond News that, while he understands many of B.C. retailers’ shipments may have been impacted by the recent flooding in the Fraser Valley, he believes most stores at the YVR airport outlet mall aren’t heavily impacted – at least not yet.

“Our stores have been stocking up prior to when the flood started, and so far we are not expecting a shortage of products. However, depending on how quickly the supply chain recovers, there may be delays for winter holiday shopping.”

Meanwhile, CF Richmond Centre’s property manager Manisha Narang said they are putting in more safety measures and extending hours to help alleviate, if any, crowds that may be coming in over the Black Friday weekend.

“We’re hopeful this means traffic will be increased at our shopping centres over the holiday season, but we do not anticipate the same levels as years prior to the pandemic as shoppers are expected to start their holiday shopping early,” said Narang.

A 2021 Retail Holiday Survey report released by professional services firm JLL forecast Canadians will return to shopping centres “on a grand scale,” in part to pick up online shopping items, but also to shop, eat and enjoy being in social environments.

JLL said COVID-19 variants of concern, such as the infectious Delta strain, are not likely to deter shoppers this holiday season, or into 2022.

“In October, overall consumer spending remained about 20% above pre-Covid-19 levels,” reads JLL’s report, adding Canadians are likely to continue a “significant increase in their spending.”

-with files from Business in Vancouver