Edmonton International Airport Mall to open in May with Nike, H&M and Forever 21 stores

Edmonton's newest outlet mall is expected to open in May but based on their newly announced tenant list a retail expert thinks they'll have tough competition.

Airport outlet mall to open in May with about 70 stores

A rendering shows the Premium Outlet Collection Edmonton International Airport expected to open on May 2. (Ivanhoé Cambridge)

With the new Edmonton outlet mall set to open in less than two months, Nike, Forever 21, H&M, Old Navy, Marshalls and Designer Shoe Warehouse were announced Tuesday as anchor stores.

The mall, called Premium Outlet Collection Edmonton International Airport, is expected to open on May 2. Seven of the mall's 70 tenant stores aren't expected to open until the summer.

The $215-million mall is expected to eventually have more than 100 tenants and create about 1,200 jobs. About 200 of those jobs are construction-related.

A rendering of the Premium Outlet Collection Edmonton International Airport shows some of the tenants expected when the mall opens in May. (Ivanhoé Cambridge)

A job fair will be held over the weekend at the Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel to fill many of the retail positions.

Tough competition to draw customers outside of city

Craig Patterson, director of applied research at the University of Alberta school of retailing, said most of the retailers on the mall's tenant list already have stores in the city.

He said he expected to see retailers new to Edmonton to help draw shoppers to the outlet mall. Without that, he said, deep discounts would seem to be the only way to draw crowds to the new mall.

"That's the only way I would actually see people actually making the trip all the way out there," he said. "It isn't a convenient location in the centre of the city. It's located out on a highway toward Calgary, and much closer to Leduc.

"South Edmonton Common does have off-price retailers, and it's got some good ones. It isn't an outlet mall but certainly has similar retailers to what an outlet mall would have. And therefore it's going to be a competitor, and a close competitor, in terms of proximity to the Edmonton airport outlet mall."

But the mall's developer sees the location as an advantageous spot that will attract tourists to the "value-focused" mall.

"Roughly eight million tourists come to Edmonton every year," said John Scott, senior vice-president of development with Ivanhoe Cambridge. "Some 7.6 million travellers went through the airport last year. We see that as a really nice fit."

The mall joins a cannabis facility and a moonshine distillery as new tenants expected to open this year on the Edmonton International Airport grounds.

Travis.mcewan@cbc.ca

@Travismcewancbc