An Edmonton mall rounds out a list of top five malls with most revenue per square foot in Canada — but it's probably not the mall you're thinking of.
Southgate Mall brought in $1,155 per square foot over a 12-month period ending in Aug. 2016, according to a new study released by the Retail Council of Canada (RCC).
West Edmonton Mall — still the biggest mall in North America, according to the study — came in at 29th on the list, making $777 per square foot in the same time period.
Other malls in the top five spots are in Toronto and Vancouver, with Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre ranked first.
Diane Brisebois, the president of the RCC, said it's not a surprise that an Edmonton mall made the top five.
"There is actually no question that Edmonton is a retail mecca," she said.
Malls changing with the times
Brisebois said Edmonton malls have all made huge investments into their infrastructure, and that's why they're so successful.
"When you walk through a lot of malls in the U.S., you see a lot of vacant space. The malls look a bit tired," she said.
"When you walk into the malls across Canada and in Edmonton … there's very little vacancy, if any."
'There is actually no question that Edmonton is a retail mecca.' - Diane Brisebois, President, Retail Council of Canada
Brisebois said the lack of vacancies means shoppers generally stick around more — and that means more revenue.
But it's not just new shops and restaurants the malls are bringing in. With the emergence of online shopping, malls have to offer something fresh and unique.
"Malls are not only shopping centres, but they're also social centres," Brisebois said.
She said malls that are bringing in other forms of entertainment for shoppers are doing so to draw people from the convenience of online shopping.
And though many malls in the U.S. are producing more revenue per square foot than their Canadian counterparts, Brisebois said Canada has the upper hand.
"We believe that in Canada, the mall operatives have done a better job than in the United States."