Montreal Retail Market Report
Montreal Retail Spending Climbs, Despite Pandemic-Related Shifts in the Market
Suburban assets drive performance during restrictions. The impacts of COVID-19 on Montreal’s retail segment were severe in 2020, but the metro has experienced a strong rebound since. Despite stringent virus containment policies, retail sales actually measured higher in 2021 than they did in 2019, which has helped prevent large-scale store closures. Amid this momentum, tenants’ location preferences began to shift. Prior to 2020, students, workers and tourists drove much of the retail spending in the city centre, leading retailers to lease and expand in the urban core. These sources of spending largely dried up during the health crisis, and tenants placed an emphasis on expanding into residential neighbourhoods. The two largest projects in the pipeline are components of suburban mixed-use developments in Vaudreuil-Châteauguay and Mirabel-Blainville, highlighting this trend. Nonetheless, retailers in central districts like Ste-Catherine Street should soon benefit from returning workers, students and tourists.