County Fair Mall buzzing with NSLC cannabis sales

Foot traf­fic is up, but other stores not feel­ing much im­pact yet

Valley Journal Advertiser - - NEWS - BY SARA ERIC­S­SON KINGSCOUNTYNEWS.CA

Hun­dreds lin­ing up to buy le­gal cannabis also meant hun­dreds of peo­ple were in­side County Fair Mall in New Mi­nas on Oct. 17.

Since the NSLC be­gan sell­ing le­gal cannabis, the store and the mall have seen a steady stream of cus­tomers walk­ing through the halls, but what, if any­thing, that foot traf­fic means for stores and the mall is up for de­bate.

Eliz­a­beth En­gram, se­nior leas­ing man­ager and me­dia spokesper­son County Fair Mall owner Crom­bie REIT, con­firmed the mall has not ex­pe­ri­enced an “up­take in leas­ing in­ter­est in County Fair Mall as a re­sult of the NSLC sell­ing cannabis from that lo­ca­tion.”

It is ap­par­ent that around 10 store­fronts are empty with ‘For Lease’ signs in their win­dows at the mall. En­gram did not con­firm how many stores are cur­rently up for lease, but said the com­pany is “ac­tively leas­ing the cen­tre.”

In an email, En­gram said there are “a num­ber of rea­sons… at­tract­ing new busi­ness to any small com­mu­nity can be chal­leng­ing for,” and that, “any ad­di­tions, in­clud­ing the of­fer­ing of a new prod­uct, may gen­er­ate in­ter­est from other busi­nesses.”

While all re­tail stores agreed there was a def­i­nite spike in foot traf­fic in the mall near the NSLC on Oct. 17, they di­verged on how it’s af­fected them since.

Pseu­dio is lo­cated across the hall from the NSLC. Store man­ager Kate­lyn Ri­p­ley said they’ve seen “a def­i­nite in­crease in traf­fic” at the store, and as­sis­tant man­ager Can­dace Joudrey — who was on shift Oct. 17 — agreed and said the line await­ing le­gal cannabis stretched past their store at 9 a.m.

“It was ab­so­lutely crazy — lots of traf­fic, and just so many peo­ple,” said Joudrey.

Leah Dempsey and Charlene Davies both work at CHARM Di­a­mond Cen­tres. They saw the amount of peo­ple lined up in pho­tos taken by their co­work­ers who were on shift.

Both agree that the NSLC sell­ing cannabis could spell pos­i­tive changes for foot traf­fic in the mall, but they don’t think it means much for the jew­eler.

“If we can get them in the door, espe­cially com­ing up to Christ­mas — as long as we can get them in, this could be good news for the mall,” said Dempsey.

“This is a des­ti­na­tion store — they’re com­ing to buy. They might make a lit­tle de­tour, but that’s it re­ally,” said Davies.

An­drea Austen is the man­ager at the Great Cana­dian Dol­lar Store at the mall and said the store it among those that al­ways has a steady flow of cus­tomers.

She doubts the new stock at NSLC will have much ef­fect on the store’s busi­ness since it al­ready has a reg­u­lar stream of cus­tomers.

“It doesn’t re­ally have a bear­ing on this end of the mall,” she said.

SARA ERIC­S­SON PHO­TOS

A lone per­son walks down hall­way past sev­eral stores for lease at County Fair Mall in New Mi­nas, where the NSLC store now sells le­gal cannabis.

Pseu­dio man­ager Kate­lyn Ri­p­ley and as­sis­tant man­ager Can­dace Joudrey say their store has seen a def­i­nite in­crease in foot traf­fic and is also see­ing dif­fer­ent cus­tomers stop­ping by since Oct. 17.

CHARM Di­a­mond Cen­tres em­ploy­ees Leah Dempsey and Charlene Davies agree the in­crease in foot traf­fic may not mean much for their store, but it could mean good things for the mall’s Christ­mas shop­ping sea­son.

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