Sainte-Catherine Street Retail Analysis 2024

Sainte-Catherine Street’s retailers adapting to evolving consumer habits

May 30, 2024
  • William Schneider

With over 4 million residents in the Greater Montréal Area, Montréal has the special distinction of being Canada’s second most populated city. The city is home to several prestigious international events, including the world’s biggest jazz festival, the Canadian Grand Prix, as well as the Montréal World Film Festival.

Sainte-Catherine is the commercial artery of downtown Montréal. Reaching residential areas, the street stretches for over 11 kilometers and can be accessed by nine metro stations. Tourists and locals alike gravitate towards Montréal’s premier high-fashion district, which is home to many of the city’s most popular retailers such as Simons, Apple, Canada Goose, H&M, and more.

To gain a better understanding of how Sainte-Catherine Street has evolved over the years, data between 2019 to 2024 was collected on tenants located on a 900-meter stretch of Sainte-Catherine Street West, between Bishop Street and Robert-Bourassa Boulevard.

Sainte-Catherine Street is currently in the process of recovering from the impacts of the pandemic. However, there are strong indications that the street can bounce back, with its future likely to be shaped by five key elements:

  1. Service-based concepts: As people increasingly seek experiences, the presence of food and beverage establishments and entertainment options along the street has grown. This trend is driven by a rebound in the appetite for experiences.

  2. Increased foot traffic: Pedestrian activity is on the rise both on the street and within the nearby metro stations. This increase in foot traffic signals a positive shift for Sainte-Catherine Street.

  3. Growing luxury focus: The tenant mix on the street is evolving towards a stronger focus on luxury. Apparel retailers are targeting affluent customers more than before, reflecting a changing market dynamic.

  4. Decreasing vacancy: The vacancy rate on the street is steadily declining and approaching levels seen before the pandemic. This trend indicates a healthier market and a growing interest from businesses to occupy prime real estate along the street.

  5. Ongoing redevelopment: While the street may currently be a bit challenging to navigate due to ongoing construction, stakeholders eagerly await the completion of the redevelopment project. Once finished, this project is expected to boost foot traffic and sales for businesses operating on the street.

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