The Lower Mainland’s battle of the outlet malls

B.C. residents used to cross the border in droves to shop at outlet malls. Now the malls are coming to us

When the Canadian dollar was worth something, crossing the border to shop made economic sense—plus we had no other options. The Shops at Morgan Crossing in South Surrey, built by Larco Investments as a mixed-use village-style development in 2010, has a few outlet and factory stores, but the dearth of outlet centres in the Lower Mainland was a major reason U.K.-based McArthurGlen opened its first North American luxury outlet mall in Vancouver last summer, says general manager Robert Thurlow: “When we are building any new centre, we do a lot of research around the area. From a luxury and designer outlet shopping point of view, Vancouver was quite underrepresented.” Next fall, outlet shoppers will see yet another entry into the market when Montreal-based Ivanhoé Cambridge—owner of Oakridge Centre and Metropolis at Metrotown, among others—opens a massive mall near the Tsawwassen ferry terminal.

A look at what each centre offers and who shops there: