Opportunities for Big-Box Developments Abound Across the Northern Border

After being hidden in plain sight for decades, Canada now emerges as the hot spot for U.S. "international" investment.

Associate editor of Retail Traffic, Elaine Misonzhnik, reports that major U.S. retailers including Big Lots, Nordstrom, and J.Crew - to name a few - are on an aggressive time schedule to open stores in Canada.

The five economic factors that foster this emerging trend are the overall integrity of the Canadian banking system, relatively low 7.4% unemployment rate, healthy 3.9% GDP growth for the first quarter of FY2011, resilient housing market, and strong Canadian dollar. Misonzhnik explains, "All of this means that Canadian per capita retail spending is projected to surpass the U.S. figure for the first time in 2011."

At the moment, Canada has a 14.6 square feet of shopping center space per capita in comparison with 23.8 in the U.S.

For all its enormous growth potential, doing business in Canada comes with an asterisk. "On the development front construction costs in Canada tend to be higher, and the re-zoning process takes longer," Misonzhnik notes.

Full Story: U.S. Retailers and Developers Seek Expansion Opportunities in Great White North

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