Originally Posted by MolsonExport
So I hear that there might be another big box development, coming to NorthEast London (anchored by a StuporStore). The dumbcentre in NW London is showing signs of struggle. Most of the Northern part was not completed (Ghost parking lots/signs/foundations, etc.). The Southern portion has seen an exodus of stores, most recently, Winners. I reckon that there must be around 10-12 empty pads. Not to mention, the still unfilled strip plaza at the corner of Hydeparkinglot Road and Fanshawe (good sushi place there, though).
The struggles at the NW London SmartCentre do not surprise me at all, for a couple of reasons. There are more and more aging baby boomers who don't want to shop at these kinds of places that involve too much walking, especially in the winter. I know my parents, both in their 60s, absolutely hate driving up there, and I know they shop at Walmart a lot less now than five years ago. My father always is telling me about the horrid traffic on Hyde Park Road.
The other reason is that today consumers are trying to save money on gas and not drive further than they have to. That SmartCentre location is just too far out of the way for most people in the west end of London. When I still lived in London, I only ever drove up that far if I needed to buy things not available in Byron or Oakridge, such as clothing (other than the selection at Real Canadian Superstore).
In my opinion, SmartCentres' development strategy up to this point has been short-sighted and did not account for two glaringly obvious future trends, which are just now coming to fruition.