Every tourist and possibly most newcomers have paid an obligatory visit to Eaton Center and have walked around the Yonge and Dundas intersection. Naturally then you’d think all stores would do brisk business, turns out it is not always the case.
Downtown Yonge BIA says vacancy rate is up from 8% to just over 12% which is very worrying because things could only get a lot worse in the years to come. And this is expected to happen even as new condos sprout up around the area, the population starts increasing and more tourists visit.
Small businesses are slowly being squeezed out because it is getting increasingly difficult to compete with big box stores. Rents are increasing, making it harder to turn a decent profit and that is driving small business owners away.
The cost of renting and property tax has increased dramatically.
Small businesses find that the area is ideal for big chain stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom who have brought in a new clientele but it isn’t really helping the smaller guys.
In September, an environmental assessment study will be launched to have a conversation with the community about what Yonge Street will look like in the future.
Meanwhile with so many new residents in the area perhaps different kinds of businesses will have to move in that will cater to the new demographic changes and align with the needs of residents as well as tourists.
Online shopping meanwhile is hurting everyone and this is perhaps the most challenging of times to be a retail store owner who isn’t just competing with the big chains but with online shopping as well. – CINEWS