From fur trading to e-commerce, the oldest and most resilient retailer in Canada has been the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) since 1670.
The company’s roots go back so far, they pre-date Confederation by nearly 200 years.
If ever there was an example of reinvention, over and over again, it will never be said that this retailer went down without a fight.
There has been a looming need for change, to provide a safe Saskatoon city centre.
It feels like 2020 has been the longest year on record for everyone.
Things are hardly back to normal by any standard, but it has been encouraging to see the buzz of back to school shoppers and the community embracing dining out again.
As we enter the last quarter of the year, it’s important to remember that there are some industries stuck in limbo, such as any facility that hosts crowds.
What does the future hold for entertainment venues?
The Lighthouse, which provides support to Saskatoon’s homeless and mentally ill, is vital to our community but it can’t come at the expense of our vibrant Downtown as a whole.
Prior to the global pandemic, Saskatoon’s Downtown businesses were already feeling the
impact of reduced foot traffic due to safety concerns of the Lighthouse.
Now, the reported national statistics for tenant relief requests from the retail sector mirror close to what we’ve seen in Saskatoon.
As a result of economy shutting down to Covid-19, on average, 70 per cent of requests have come from retail tenants; only 30 per cent have come from the office and industrial sectors.
A game plan to invigorate our downtown retail business before it’s too late is urgent.
It’s time for the City, local businesses, and the Lighthouse to examine a Plan B if we hope to save this core neighbourhood.
Reporting to you live from Saskatchewan, stay tuned for more economic spinoff from the Covid-19 pandemic!
And by spinoff, I mean spinning off the tracks or wheels or whatever analogy you’d like to lend.
The Saskatchewan government delivered their budget three months late mid-June, with a big fat $2.4 billion deficit ribbon on top.
It’s a gift no one wanted, and we can’t return to sender.
The dialogue is starting around this latest experiment in the office sector.
We’ve seen other experiments in recent years such as the open office concept and co-working concept. COVID-19 has accelerated a work-from-home (WFH) trial that might otherwise have taken years to duplicate.
Will WFH emerge as the disruptor that some are suggesting?
Will organizations be able to maintain culture within, while the experiment is underway?
Despite patting ourselves on the back for flattening the curve in Saskatchewan, we flatlanders are not out of the woods yet.
In the anticipated build up to employees returning to their traditional workspaces, stringent protocols will be in place for office users in particular.
A return to our previous normal practice seems a long time away and some speculators predict the Covid-19 pandemic will change office interaction permanently.
Last week Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe announced a phased in plan to reopen the province for business in the wake of Covid-19.
While some people are saying it is too soon, most agree that it has been long enough.
So how will this unfold for commercial real estate tenants?
I’m grateful that despite the new challenges many of us are currently
encountering in this remarkable new world, I’m doing well.
However, that would not always have been the case in my
It is certainly weird times out there right now.
With no one able to predict how long this will last, it is
imperative that we remember to support local business as they’ll be struggling
along with the rest of us.
But how can I support local business if I can’t leave my