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Canadian Push 10-16-15


Target Corp's hasty retreat still haunting Canadian REITs nine months later
Target Corp. is long gone from Canada, having announced its departure about nine months ago, but the retailing giant's impact on the country's real estate market is still being felt. A lot of questions remain about who will fill the empty stores formerly occupied by Target, and this gap is a big reason why the national retail occupancy rate has fallen by 1.8 percentage points year to date (to 95.2 per cent) - its lowest level since 2002. Michael Smith, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, noted that the retrofitting and replacement of tenants at these locations is causing some disruption. However, he believes the financial impact to Canadian REITs will be manageable, since the vast majority already have below-market rents and most have properties in good locations.

Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire and Lowe's bought a combined 36 store leases from a total of 58 sold as part of Target's CCAA process. The remaining leases were primarily sold to landlords such as Cadillac Fairview Corp. Ltd., Oxford Properties Group Inc. and Ivanhoe Cambridge, which were looking to regain control over their real estate. Morguard REIT and Cominar REIT also bought leases for $100,000 each. Smith pointed out that 44 of the 63 Target leases that were held by companies in his coverage universe were disclaimed. Since Target decided not to pay rent due to landlords under its guarantees (31 of the 44 disclaimed leases had guarantees), most landlords have stopped recognizing this revenue.

Surveillance drones: the next new security tool
The Canadian Corps of Commissionaires has prided itself in being early adopters of new security technologies. Most recently, Commissionaires Northern Alberta Division, headquartered in Edmonton, began operating unmanned air vehicles aka drones for surveillance work on client properties. Although this is a relatively new security platform, Commissionaires view it as the sign of things to come. The cost of reliable surveillance drones is decreasing, allowing for the acquisition of platforms that are stable, robust and capable of excellent video and photographs. Unfortunately, regulations surrounding the commercial use of drones prohibit security providers from simply operating as amateur hobbyists would. For this reason Commissionaires Northern Alberta Division is pursuing a dual track. In addition to operating client-owned drones, they are acquiring their own for research and development as well as training purposes.

Sobeys appeals rights board's decision on racial profiling
Sobeys Group Inc. is appealing a recent Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission decision that found staff at its Upper Tantallon store racially profiled a black woman by falsely accusing her of shoplifting. In a Sept. 28 decision, Marion Hill, the commission's board of inquiry chairwoman, ruled that staff discriminated against Andrella David because of her race and perceived income. David, a black woman from Upper Hammonds Plains, went to Sobeys for some ice cream at about 9 p.m. on May 26, 2009. While David was waiting in line to pay, Jennie Barnhill, acting manager of the store that night, approached David in front of other customers and accused her of being a shoplifter in the store seven days earlier and said she had video evidence to prove it.

Study: Only 20% of Canadian Retailers are investing optimally in future growth

McDonald's Canada Launches New Self-Serve Kiosks to 1,400 restaurants Brings Two-Hour Delivery to Canada

Saks 5th Avenue to Open Canada's Largest Suburban Luxury Store


Vancouver: Police bust $100,000 'predatory' buy-and-sell operation for stolen goods
Three people have been arrested and $100,000 in stolen property seized after police busted a sophisticated buy-and-sell operation that spanned from Vancouver to Surrey. Police said they received a tip over the summer that a convenience store on King George Boulevard in Surrey was actually a fencing operation - a place where stolen property is knowingly bought and resold. Goods were being snatched from Vancouver businesses to stock the store, according to police, and the operation was so vast investigators believe it took hundreds of crimes per month to keep it running. Among the items seized were razors, alcohol, perfume, cold and flu medications, and baby items.

Police release photos of Fort Erie pharmacy robbery suspect
The Niagara Regional Police Service has release images of a suspect in a recent robbery at a Fort Erie pharmacy. On the afternoon of Oct. 8, a lone male entered the Mrs. O's IDA Pharmacy on Jarvis Street. The male approached the counter brandishing a knife and demanded various types of prescription medications.

Vancouver: 4th Smash and Grab Burglary at Vancouver drone store
For the fourth time in the past few months, thieves have targeted a drone store in Vancouver, using increasingly devious methods. Overnight, the suspect, or suspects, broke through the drywall of the vacant business next door to Drones Plus. They made it directly into the store's back room and stole two drones worth $4,000 each. Last month, would-be thieves attempted to break in by backing vehicles into the store, but were unable to create an opening in the doors.

Saskatoon: Suspects at large after armed robbery at convenience store

Canadian Push 10-16-15
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