Edmonton Retail Market Report
Healthy Consumption Boosts Retail Demand;
Headwinds Remain for Downtown Retailers
Robust economy aided by strong consumer demand. The metro's economic recovery led to sustained improvement in the retail market throughout the first half of the year. The unemployment rate has fallen well below its pre-pandemic level, fortifying a consumer base for strong retail demand. Elevated oil prices and a rise in oil production have benefited consumers working in the energy sector. As a result, Alberta's retail sales rose above the pre-pandemic level by 18 per cent in July 2022. This uptick in retail demand was well reflected in the robust net absorption of 1.2 million square feet in the first half of the year, an 84 per cent year-over-year rise, which resulted in net absorption exceeding completions by 89 per cent in the second quarter. This has caused vacancy to decrease to 3.8 per cent, with the lowest vacancy in the South submarket at 3.0 per cent.