Montreal Retail Market Report
Recovery in Foot Traffic Backs Sector Performance;
Mega Project to Upgrade Metro's Retail Experience
Return of in-person events and tourism underpin retail demand. In 2022, Montreal's retailers enjoyed a recovery in revenue, with total sales registering an 11 per cent increase. The removal of pandemic restrictions allowed consumers' pent-up demand to quickly play out across the metro, and a return of students and office workers brought back foot traffic that was much needed for downtown retailers. Additionally, the number of tourists — especially those from outside Canada — increased to near pre-pandemic levels, which fueled demand in the metro's food and beverage sector. Looking forward, elevated interest rates could weigh on Montreal's labour market, which may cause a mild uptick in the unemployment rate and subsequently impact the metro's retail sales. A further diminishing remote work trend and a continued recovery in tourism, however, will mitigate this softening in demand. It is also worth noting that the metro will likely welcome more American visitors this year, who are traditionally the highest spending tourists on a per capita basis in Montreal. These transborder visitors are expected to further increase spending as a stronger U.S. dollar, relative to the Canadian dollar, is anticipated throughout 2023.