The Edmonton Downtown Business Association has released its annual Business Report, this year focusing on the The Future of Retail in Downtown Edmonton. The report studies the shopping habits of Edmontonians, based on data obtained through online surveys and interviews with stakeholders.

Retail Statistics, excerpt from the DBA Retail Report

The report highlights some barriers to bringing more shoppers into the core, such as perceptions of safety, cleanliness and attractiveness of storefronts, and availability of parking.

Motivations for Downtown shopping, excerpt from the DBA Retail Report

Additionally, the survey results show that the most wanted new retail in the downtown core - not just by residents and workers, but by all respondents across the city - is a grocery store, followed by more options for women's clothing.

Most Wanted Retail, excerpt from the DBA Retail Report

Other interesting findings of the study show many shoppers are looking for "experiential" retail, with staff that are intimately knowledgeable about the products they sell, as well as offering tastings, workshops, and other educational programming. The study also shows that stores that offer an online presence have higher sales due to customers finding items they like before buying, and that temporary pop-up stores encourage more spontaneous purchasing.

ICE District bringing new retail, residents, and employment to the core, photo by Dave Sutherland

The report closes with some key takeaways that can help encourage a more vibrant retail shopping experience in the downtown core - an important step to continuing the revitalization of downtown and ensuring the growing residential population is well-served.

Attractive storefronts and streets attract retail shoppers, photo by Dave Sutherland

Heading downtown? You can read the executive summary and full reports here. What do you think of the report's findings? Leave a comment below or join our Forum discussion.