McArthurGlen’s Richmond mall draws record opening weekend crowds

160,000 people visit the new mall on in its first four days of operation

McArthurGlen's Richmond mall is on Sea Island next to Vancouver International Airport

European mall developer McArthurGlen Group’s outlet mall next to Vancouver International Airport set a company record for the highest-ever opening weekend visitation, the company announced July 14.

A total of 160,000 visitors went to the centre with a substantial number arriving by Canada Line, the mall’s general manager Robert Thurlow told Business in Vancouver.

The company’s count includes visitors on the four days starting July 9, which was the grand opening for the mall and a day when traffic snarled roads heading to the airport.

“The good thing about the traffic jam was that we received a lot of radio and TV press that, ‘Hey, there’s a lot of traffic on the island. Take the Canada Line. It goes right into the centre.’” Thurlow said.

“So, on subsequent days we had no more problems and more than 50% of our foot traffic was coming from the Canada Line.”

Thurlow, however, downplayed the disruption that the mall caused commuters and others.

“There was one plane delay because a couple of flight crew couldn’t get to the briefing on time. So, we had one plane leave 10 minutes late,” he said before adding with a laugh, “They leave 10 minutes late all the time by the way.”

McArthurGlen’s Richmond mall is its first in North America. The company operates 20 other malls in Europe.

Tenants in the mall include some higher-end tenants, such as Hugo Boss, Coach and Brooks Brothers. Many of the tenants are more mid-market , such as the Gap, Tommy Hilfiger and Under Armour.