Town of High Level and Hamlet of La Crete - Retail Market Analysis
The objective of these studies is to thoroughly document the Hamlet of La Crete and Town of High Level current retail inventory. Then estimate the realistic retail Trade Area area for which it serves and the retail expenditure profile across various retail categories/store types as an indication of retail inflow/outflow and opportunities therein that the Hamlet of La Crete could potentially pursue. The end result is to fill gaps and bolster the local retail market by retaining or attracting greater market share of resident and visitors in the wider community including areas such as Fort Vermillion and Fox Creek.
This document is intended to assist the Town of High Level, Mackenzie County and the Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI) in promoting the communities, working with developers and investors, as well as attracting new or expanding retailers and formats. It further aims to retain existing retailers as part of a wider Economic Development Strategy for business retention and attraction and succession planning.
Town of High Level
RETAIL MARKET SUMMARY
The High Level retail market has an estimated retail floor space of approximately 405,314 sf. This retail floor space is comprised of retail premises that range from Grocery Stores to Restaurants to Personal Services such as Optometrists and Salons. Of note, Rainbow Lake has an approximate retail inventory of 25,000 sf of which the Rainbow Foods Grocery accounts for 7,200 sf or almost one-quarter of the floorspace).
A review of the current vacancy and nature of the vacancies provides additional cues for prospective business interests in the community.
In particular, the overall vacancy rate is estimated at 11.4% which is higher than the industry standard for a healthy retail market that should be in the 3% to 5% level.
The implications of vacancy are two-fold. Firstly, the opportunity may exist to attract businesses into existing vacant spaces that will have lower rent costs applied and as a result may be more attractive to local businesses who may not have the sales productivity to justify higher rents. Secondly, higher vacancy rates would suggest that any new development should be very targeted for uses that have the ability to create benefit for the greater good rather than impacting existing businesses even more.
The Top 5 retail categories in terms of overall retail floor space in High Level are:
- Grocery & Specialty Foods 67,910 sf
- Restaurant F&B 36,976 sf
- Clothing & Apparel 34,900 sf
- Specialty Retail 32,925 sf
- Home Improvement & Gardening 30,225 sf
Hamlet of La Crete, Mackenzie County
LOCATION CONTEXT SUMMARY
La Crete is located 320 km north of Peace River, Alberta and 115 km southeast of High Level. A Mennonite Community with a population of approximately almost 2,300 (2016 Census), La Crete’s trading region approaches almost 14,000 within an approximate 45 to 60 minute drive time.
RETAIL TRADE AREA SUMMARY
The Trade Area population is estimated for 2017 to be just over 13,500. This population is forecast to generally remain in and around that level over the foreseeable horizon, growing to almost 14,000 by 2027.
La Crete is a unique market in that residents are very loyal and thus the market penetration is relatively strong, with the exception of bigger ticket item, for which infrequent trips to Grande Prairie or Peace River are likely.
On that basis, ongoing efforts should be focused on even further deepening market penetration for sustaining existing business vitality and for ensuring proper business succession planning.