Edmonton Int’l Adds Designer Outlet Mall

Edmonton International (EIA)
Victoria Soukup
Published in: 

Edmonton International (EIA) is putting a new twist on airport retail with a landside mall that includes onsite boarding pass printers, flight status screens and other special features to convert passengers into shoppers, and vice versa. Additional airport-specific services include free shuttles to/from the terminal, in-mall luggage storage and discounted shipping for purchases made at the designer outlet stores. 

 “This entire mall is built around the EIA traveler, which is very, very unique,” says Myron Keehn, vice president of Air Service and Commercial Development for EIA. “We are pleased to be offering services that have not traditionally been in the normal scope of mall offerings.”

Airport officials worked with private developers to produce an environment that will inspire travelers to shop during long layovers and before/after their flights. They also hope the 100-store mall will encourage passengers to choose EIA over other nearby airports. Premium Outlet Collection EIA, however, is just one line item of the Alberta airport’s larger development program to leverage its 7,000 acres of property. (By landmass, EIA is the largest airport in Canada.) 


Project: Designer Outlet Mall

Location: Edmonton (AB) Int’l Airport 

Developers/Co-owners: Ivanhoé Cambridge; Simon Property Group

Mall Management: Ivanhoé Cambridge 

Landlord: Airport

Mall Cost: $215 million

Size: 590,000 sq. ft. (428,000 sq. ft. is leasable); room for expansion

Stores: 100 (by year end)

Grand Opening: May 2018

General Contractor: Ledcor Group

Parcel Shipping: DeliverEase

Special Features: Shuttle service to/from terminal; flight arrival/departure screens; in-mall boarding pass printers & luggage storage; discounted shipping service for mall purchases  

Environmental Achievement: Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certification

Other On-airport Development: Golf course; motor park

2019 Additions: Equestrian racetrack/gaming facility; COSTCO store; Marriott Hotel; canal for 3 hockey rinks in winter & paddling in summer 

An aggressive master plan targets four key areas of development: aviation/airport; aerospace/technology; cargo/logistics; and destination/commercial. The mall, which opened in May, is the latest component of the entertainment-oriented destination/commercial facet. A golf course and motor park already operate on airport land; new attractions scheduled to open in spring 2019 include an equestrian racetrack/gaming facility, COSTCO store, Marriott Hotel and canal that will accommodate three hockey rinks in winter and paddling
in summer. 

“This outlet mall is only one component of a bigger puzzle that we’re putting together,” Keehn explains. “It’s going to be a whole entertainment complex that our partners are constructing on EIA land.”

Two private companies, Ivanhoé Cambridge and Simon Property Group, shared development costs for the $215 million mall, which is managed by Ivanhoé Cambridge. As landlord, EIA receives an undisclosed percentage of sales to boost its non-aeronautical revenue. 

“Our responsibility, after safety and security, is driving regional economic development here in Alberta,” says Keehn. “We wanted partners that would innovate and be creative with us, and we found that.” Both developers share EIA’s long-term vision of the airport property, he adds. 

Despite the current challenges facing malls, EIA officials and their retail development partners say the outlook for the Premium Outlet Collection EIA is strong given the wealth of Edmonton-area residents, the popularity of cost savings at designer outlet stores and the mall’s airport location. “We wanted to differentiate ourselves from other malls and shopping centers, so we didn’t go after regular retail,” Keehn says. “We sought outlet stores and a fully-enclosed facility because of the winter weather to cater to travelers who go through our airport.”

Airport/Developer Partnership

Stepping into the mall—a figure-eight design with a 675-seat food court in the middle—it’s immediately obvious that Premium Outlet Collection EIA is different from other malls. “Simon and Ivanhoé Cambridge have a real partnership with Edmonton International,” says Simon CEO Stephen Yalof. “We share a number of amenities ranging from the flight information display systems (FIDS) we have positioned around the shopping center, to the shuttle transportation from the terminal to the mall. The airport presence is very much known when you shop at the Premium Outlet Collection EIA.” 

The 70-by-85-inch FIDS units are located in four prominent areas throughout the mall, and use the same data feed as those located in the terminal. They are especially helpful for passengers who arrive at the airport before a flight and those with long layovers. In fact, on opening day in May, Yalof saw on a flight status screen that his flight home was delayed. “Knowing that information meant I could stay longer at the event,” he comments. 

There is also complimentary shuttle service that runs from the airport to the mall every half hour from 5:40 a.m. to 10 p.m.. Although mall stores don’t open until 10 a.m., coffee shops open earlier, and mall employees who take public transportation from other areas of the city to the airport take the shuttle from the airport to the mall.

A guest services area has a “refresh room” for weary travelers to wash their faces, change clothes and check luggage and coats while they shop. “This is a very nice service if you are on an extended layover,” says Jason Bos, general manager of the Premium Outlet Collection EIA.

In addition, Guest Services also offers boarding pass printing, complimentary baby supplies and portable cellphone chargers.

On-site Shipping 

Another popular amenity is the mall’s DeliverEase parcel delivery service, which encourages travelers to shop without worrying about packing purchases in their luggage or dealing with them as additional carry-on items. The mall subsidizes service from a local expediting company to keep parcel delivery costs lower than normal shipping charges, notes Bos.

“We’ll ship those purchases anywhere in the world they want them to go, which I think is one of the best services we provide,” Yalof says. “If you’re flying through EIA and your baggage is checked through to your destination, you don’t have to worry about repacking—we’ll ship everything back home for you.”

Bos notes that the project developers consider shopping a form of entertainment, particularly when it involves designer outlet brands. “We are well aware that consumers are more informed than ever, and that their journey starts in the comfort of their home before they make their way to the mall,” he says. “Millennials are also fueling the shift as they view shopping as entertainment. It all boils down to the experience you can offer them in your shopping centers.”

Simon’s Yalof echoes: “We don’t have movie theaters in our outlet shopping centers. The entertainment is the shopping.”

Designer Allure

Yalof says that the strength of outlet stores lies in value. “The thing that is unique about outlet malls compared to other types of retail such as regular malls, is the everyday value offered to customers,” he explains. “We offer between 25% to 65% off every day. With other conventional retailers, you wait for items to go on sale during designated sale periods. We’ve got 80 to 100 fashion brands on sale every single day in our outlet shopping centers. That’s really what drives our customer traffic, and that’s what drives our best-in-class shopping experience.”

Airport locations are proving to be valuable for companies like Simon and Ivanhoé Cambridge, because they generate traffic not only from travelers but also from people picking up and dropping off travelers. “Airports have been a pretty good model for us, and being at an airport is just another benefit after we determine a site is valuable,” Yalof says. But he also stresses that the EIA location is unique. It is the first time the company has installed FIDS screens. “This is a new amenity, and I think it’s a model for what we should be doing in the future,” he remarks. 

The mall is also marketed to the general public, as it sits along the major north-south high connecting Edmonton with the southern Alberta cities of Red Deer and Calgary. “It truly is a great location,” notes Yalof. “The airport is growing at a very rapid rate, and 89,000 vehicles pass by every day in one of the fastest growing parts of Edmonton and one of the most affluent.”

When the mall debuted in May, 85 stores were open; the remaining 15 stores are expected to be open by year’s end. The six anchor tenants are Old Navy Outlet, Nike Factory Store, Forever 21, DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, H&M and Marshall’s. The overall building is 590,000 square feet, with 2,200 parking spaces and room for expansion.

In addition to stores such as Guess, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store and Lacoste, the mall contains a marketplace area called SHARE, where smaller merchants sell local, artisan items. Vendors change on a regular basis to provide a steady stream of new products for shoppers. 

Regional Benefits

As landowner, EIA focuses on developing its sizable property in a manner that benefits the community as well as the airport, says Keehn. “What we’re doing is creating a very unique sense of place. We have a vision for the entire area, and the mall is the crown jewel.”

As a not-for-profit entity that relies on user fees for operating revenue, developing profitable concessions is an important factor in the airport’s quest to create economic benefit for the region. “If you live in Edmonton and never fly, the airport costs you nothing,” says Keehn. “But if you do take a flight from the airport, you have a user fee. Therefore, every business we have located here that produces non-aeronautical revenue makes us that much more efficient as an airport with lower landing fees and more job creation.”

The airport is utilizing the new outlet mall and other planned development as economic drivers, he explains. “We want people to choose Edmonton to connect through or to fly from. With all the amenities we have at the airport, we are working with our partners to position Edmonton as the airport to use and make it easy to shop, go golfing, go to the horse track or gaming facility or go to COSTCO on the airport grounds. Sometimes the connections might be longer, but now travelers have a reason to connect through Edmonton.”  

Landside Development

FREE Whitepaper

PAVIX: Proven Winner for All Airport Concrete Infrastructure

PAVIX: Proven Winner for All Airport Concrete Infrastructure

International Chem-Crete Corporation (ICC) manufactures and sells PAVIX, a unique line of crystalline waterproofing products that penetrate into the surface of cured concrete to fill and seal pores and capillary voids, creating a long lasting protective zone within the concrete substrate.

Once concrete is treated, water is prevented from penetrating through this protective zone and causing associated damage, such as freeze-thaw cracking, reinforcing steel corrosion, chloride ion penetration, and ASR related cracking.

This white paper discusses how the PAVIX CCC100 technolgy works and its applications.



Featured Video

Featured Video

# # #

# # #