In the Good News department, the CBC and the Delta Optimist are reporting that Ladner and Tsawwassen businesses have had a relatively successful Christmas season despite the lure of the 1.2 million square foot Tsawwassen Mills mega mall being so close by.
“Independent retailers in south Delta, B.C., say a push to support local businesses has helped mitigate the impact of a new mega mall nearby. “The whole ‘shop local’ thing really resonated with the people of Ladner,” said Andrea Frustaci, head of the Ladner Business Association.In the fall, some shops in the area said sales were down by as much as 50 per cent after the Tsawwassen Mills mall opened the month before”.
Many local residents decided to forgo the mall and bring their shopping dollars to the community that has supported them for so long. As one business owner told the Delta Optimist: “Customers commented that they enjoyed our space, the knowledge that we have and the desire to shop local. You would be silly to not believe that the mall impacted local shopping. They have sheltered space, so the weather certainly played a factor in some people choosing to shop at the new mall versus shopping here in Tsawwassen. A lot of the folks did make the conscious decision, however, to stay and shop in the local community.”
Another shop owner stated “The Christmas season was good. I think we had a bit of a less volume, but those that were shopping were motivated to shop local and buy local,” Irving said. “Shoppers told us that they checked out the mall, but came back in December because they wanted service, the time and care that we put in with our customers, the free gift-wrapping and the special touches. What we noticed in December is that shoppers said we want you here and they continued to support, so I don’t have fears moving forward. We are here to stay – we are not going anywhere.”
The new Tsawwassen Commons mall beside the Tsawwassen Mills mega mall has several stores now open. At 550,000 square feet it is the same size as all the retailing in Tsawwassen and Ladner and aims to serve “everyone in a seven minute driving distance”. Kudos to the local residents for keeping their own town centres, alive, one business at a time.
Tsawwassen Mills Mega Mall with Tsawwassen Commons in red