Thursday, January 12, 2012

Blockbuster closures mean more coffee for me?

When I was a kid, I remember I used to get really excited when an older couple would move out of the neighbourhood - I would watch with major anticipation as the new neighbours' moving truck arrived, trying to determine whether there was a young kid and prospective friend moving in.

Well nowadays I get a similar excitement, but for retail!  I can't help but wonder, when one store closes, what new retailer will move in?

With Blockbuster shutting down for business over the past year, their retail locations have closed all over the city (more than 100 in the GTA).  One such location was in a plaza very near our home, and I've been anxiously awaiting signage to indicate what will be snatching up that space.  It's a desirable location - surrounded by Sobeys, Shoppers Drug Mart, Pier 1, LCBO, Pizza Pizza, Subway, and other popular chain retailers.

125 The Queensway
Don't be fooled by the seemingly empty parking lot.  This parking lot is FULL
on weeknights and weekends.  The Google Streetview staff clearly work 9-5!

I wonder if Starbucks is interested?  As you might remember, I'm eagerly waiting for Starbucks to arrive in our neighbourhood.

I have read that the spaces are a bit awkward to lease. At about 5,000-6,000 square feet each, they are too small for a typical drug store, and a bit big for fast-food restaurants. But the stand-alone pads are easily divisible, and at 3,000 square feet each, two halves would be much easier to lease.

I was at the site of another closed Blockbuster this past weekend, near our rental condo in Liberty Village.  I noticed the old Blockbuster space there has signage announcing an incoming Kitchen Stuff Plus store.  This seems like an ideal retailer for the neighbourhood, and a great location for the store.  The neighbourhood is primarily inhabited by young singles and couples living in new condos.  So the affordable kitchen supplies, gifts, and budget-friendly decor and furnishings will be welcome.  Past the western edge of Liberty Village, the neighbourhood is also surrounded by lower-income housing and rental apartments, so I imagine that demographic also contributes to the target market.  The plaza is well established (yes, it already has a Starbucks), with other neighbours including West Elm, LCBO, Metro grocery store, Goodlife Fitness, Global Pet Foods, Running Room, Nice One Nails, TD Bank, Walking On a Cloud, Beer Boutique, restaurants and more.

The Liberty Village plaza (courtesy of Google Maps).  You should
see this parking lot on a Saturday!!  (Note that Bell has also left the plaza,
with LCBO expanding into that space)
So what will come to the old Blockbuster space near our home?  Has anyone noticed what has been taking up Blockbuster spaces elsewhere?

1 comment:

  1. My sources tell me that we Rogers and Pet Valu are going to be our new neighbours in the old Blockbuster space. So no Starbucks....yet...

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