Nearly a decade before WEM opened, another mall was delighting locals and tourists and today, Londonderry continues to grow and inspire. In fact, it was one of the city’s original attractions and it was the first bi-level shopping centre in Western Canada. It’s far more than a place to shop – it’s a place to connect and a place of opportunity for buyers, sellers and the community. Londonderry Mall deserves a closer look, so let’s stroll in and explore!
“When Londonderry opened on August 15, 1972, it featured a two-screen movie theatre, a plethora of exciting retailers and so much more,” explains Vanessa Treleaven, assistant property manager and marketing manager. “Londonderry created an excellent space for guests to shop, relax and enjoy time with family and friends. Back then – and still today – Londonderry has become a third space between home and work. It is purposed designed so people can meet with friends, socialize, shop and feel a sense of community. We have worked hard to make Londonderry a diverse, inclusive space that takes pride in having an excellent selection of local and national retailers, but also an organization that strives to give back to the community as much as it receives.”
Gathering spaces and accessibility ensure everyone on the premises can relax and enjoy their time on site, whether they are selling to the Christmas crowd, shopping for something special, or meeting up with friends for a coffee and a chat.
“Over the years, the mall underwent two renovations,” Treleaven continues. “The first was in the 1990s and the second concluded in 2016, bringing Londonderry to the modern, airy and open look it has today.”
Some of the modern upgrades include energy efficient LED lighting and EV charging stations in the parking garage. The experience is not limited to being in the mall either. In January 2022, Londonderry partnered with the GetintheLoop app (available on iOS and Android) so shoppers can get first notice about deals, discounts, product drops and events among the mall’s retailers.
Those retailers include local, national and international sellers.
“Londonderry has many fantastic national and international tenants that draw high foot traffic to the centre,” confirms Treleaven. “A few of these are Simons, Winners, H&M, Hudson’s Bay, Bath & Body Works, Shoppers Drug Mart + Beauty Boutique, Laura, Urban Planet, Ardene and No Frills (coming soon). However, Londonderry also has an extensive specialty leasing program, which encourages a local and boutique presence in the mall. This is just another portion of our mission to support the Edmonton community as much as we can. We currently have over 40 boutique and local tenants who are thriving in our centre and have seen excellent traffic and sales.”
Edmonton has always had a strong entrepreneurial presence. In fact, according to the Government of Alberta’s Regional Dashboard, “In 2021, 94.7% of businesses in Edmonton were small businesses [classified as between 1 and 49 employees]. The percentage of small businesses in Edmonton increased 0.30 per cent year-over-year and increased 0.53 per cent in the last five years.” Additionally, during COVID, many of the labour force found the time and motivation to turn their hand to online selling. Some of those e-commerce shops were incredibly successful, prompting the new business owners to seek out a storefront. For those entrepreneurs, Londonderry has the perfect solution.
Treleaven says, “through our specialty leasing program we provide a platform to allow online-only retailers to test out a brick-and-mortar storefront for a shorter commitment period. These spaces range from kiosks in our common areas to full in-line spaces. This program is an excellent way for newer businesses to experiment and understand how their product offering will perform through an in-person store concept. It also provides an opportunity to showcase their product to our extensive foot traffic and audience.”
What kind of foot traffic can retailers expect?
“Londonderry averages approximately 9,000 individuals daily on weekdays and upwards of 12,000 individuals daily on weekends,” Treleaven adds.
All retailers, from kiosk sellers to national brands, are very well supported with ideal lease rates, on-site administrative staff, maintenance, guest services, security and operations staff. Retailers also have access to assistance through the marketing department, allowing them opportunities to have in-mall events, market their latest promotions and partner on initiatives.
“When you join Londonderry, you are joining a centre that genuinely cares about its tenants and well being. We are a team that strives for success, and we look after businesses within our centre. You will feel supported and valued,” says Trelevan.
This focus on retailer experience was one of the ways Londonderry was able to help defray the challenges of COVID.
“Like any other shopping centre, Londonderry has not been exempt from the challenges that COVID-19 produced,” says Treleaven. “Leasing during that time had been difficult, however, this issue did not hit us quite as much as others due to our extensive specialty leasing program and our ability to quickly backfill vacant space.”
With the restrictions eased and a growing number of boutique retailers seeking space in Londonderry, both foot traffic and retailer spots are on the upswing once again.
For Treleaven and the rest of the management team at the mall, the community work Londonderry does each year is a major highlight.
“We love hosting charitable organizations at Londonderry and allowing them to use our space and platform for the greater good. It makes everything worth it, knowing that in a small way we have helped make a difference in these charities’ goals and missions.”
Londonderry is pleased to support a variety of charitable initiatives, including Dogs with Wings Assistance Dogs Society, Silent Santa (a sensory friendly experience), Londonderry Cop Shop (where EPS members shop for Christmas gifts disadvantaged students), Kaleo Collective, cystic fibrosis research, Canadian Mental Health Association and working with a local group of individuals raising donations for Ukraine relief.
For the support of shoppers, retailers and the community, Londonderry has been recognized many times over.
Treleaven adds, “We were recently awarded the Global Innovating Commerce Serving Communities (ICSC) 2022 silver marketing excellence award for our partnership with Dogs with Wings Assistance Dog Society. These awards were open globally and received entries worldwide. We were so incredibly honoured to have been nominated, let alone win silver in our respective category.”
As Londonderry celebrates 50 years, there have been a lot of changes, from eco-friendly upgrades to the closing of the cinema, from attracting national retailers to hosting one-of-a-kind local boutique sellers. Locals and tourists stroll the halls and enjoy the safe, clean, accessible and friendly environment. Business owners are delighted to learn about the brick-and-mortar trial program. Community organizations are proud to partner with the mall. It’s been half a century giving back to the city in many ways – but the story is far from over. In fact, it is just beginning.
As Treleaven looks to the future of the mall, she says, “I think we need to shout out our entire team here at Londonderry. We work cohesively and they all have played instrumental parts in creating success here. I especially want to call out our maintenance and operations staff who keep our building running smoothly, work tirelessly to help all departments when they can and support our tenants with their needs as well. They are definitely the heroes of Londonderry!
“Going forward, the sky is the limit! We hope to continue to attract incredible tenants, both local and national, which will further create an excellent shopping experience for our guests. We will continue to drive traffic and sales through innovative promotions and events, while delivering first-in-class support and service to our current tenants. Most of all, we want to continue to be that space where our guests feel valued, included and safe. Giving back to our community and supporting Edmonton is our biggest goal.”
She smiles as she concludes, “Edmonton has such a unique character about it. The people here are innovative and exude entrepreneurial spirit. There are so many incredible small businesses opening up everywhere and it seems that everyone has some sort of side hustle that they’re turning into a full-scale business. I love that energy!”
When is the last time you visited Londonderry Mall? There is always more to explore with every visit. Explore in person and online at londonderrymall.com. The mall is also active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
137th Avenue & 66th Street,
Edmonton, Alberta T5C 3C8
Guest Services: (780) 476-1441