Michael L. Kehoe is a Calgary based consumer real estate broker. His 40+ years of retail management, marketing, leasing and brokerage make him one of Canada’s most sought-after industry professionals.
Mr. Kehoe has provided his professional opinion on retailing, shopping centers and the retail development industry having been quoted hundreds times in leading media publications including the New York Times, Globe and Mail, Shopping Centres Today, Avenue Magazine, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Financial Post, and The Canadian Press.
“Many cities in Canada are struggling with their downtown central business districts in the post-Pandemic period. Retail sales and consumer footfall have been slow to recover due to a variety of economic, employment related trends and social issues. This is particularly evident in downtown Edmonton where a ‘perfect storm’ of such factors is negatively impacting retail venues in a visible way. Civic officials, law enforcement leaders, social agencies and stakeholders in the built environment have a significant challenge ahead not only in Edmonton but in cities across the country. The situation in downtown Edmonton has been compounded with the development of the government incentivized ‘Ice District’ with its restaurants, entertainment venues and hotels that competes directly with many businesses in the downtown core. Civic politicians and city planners have to be asking “What would Jane Jacobs the author of “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” do to address these challenges?”
Michael L. Kehoe┃ Comments on downtown business recovery┃ July 2022 ┃ Retail Insider
Michael L. Kehoe a commercial real estate broker with Fairfield Commercial Real estate in Calgary and a spokesman for Consumer Real Estate Canada stated that “Retail sales and consumer foot fall at Canadian shopping, dining and entertainment venues are robust across the country to date in 2022. Many regional shopping centers are enjoying double didge sales increases as consumers are back with a vengeance as things have normalized after the COVID related restrictions over the past two years. This past Spring was a period of optimism, and we are likely headed into a summer of continued free spending and indulgence for many Canadian consumers. Moderate levels of consumer confidence and optimism are likely to continue during 2022 as world events, high energy prices, inflation and other concerns that may be top-of-mind in the media, but it seems that these factors appear to not be affecting consumer behavior in a negative way at this time.” It is the best of times in the worst of times and retailers, restauranteurs and other entrepreneurs have adapted their business models in these post-Pandemic days to suit ever changing market conditions and Canadian consumer preferences.”
Michael L. Kehoe┃ Comments on increasing sales following COVID restrictions┃ June 2022 ┃ Retail Insider
Enjoy this business article on the Banff retail market from the Retail Insider, Canada’s most read on-line retail industry publication. “Banff to See Retail Fundamentals Improve, as Canadian and International Tourists Return this Summer - Demand for travel to resorts is picking up and retailers are anticipating a boost after the pandemic ravaged businesses in destinations across the country. Consumer real estate Broker Michael Kehoe, of Fairfield Commercial Real Estate Inc., who leases retail space in the mountain resort, said the Banff/Lake Louise market is recovering faster than other resort markets in Canada…” - https://bit.ly/3aqFZka
Michael L. Kehoe┃ Comments on the Banff retail market┃ June 2022 ┃ Retail Insider
"That major residential component will help drive population downtown, it’s exciting news — projects of this scale come along rarely and it repurposes some lands that have just been sitting there and unproductive. It’s long overdue.” Click here for full article.
Michael L. Kehoe┃ Comments on proposed Stephen Avenue development┃ May 2022 ┃ Calgary Herald
“Canadian shopping centre owners are densifying their properties at an unpreceded pace to unlock value that has been held within components of their properties such as underutilized parking fields and low-density anchor store spaces. This strategy syncs up perfectly with transit-oriented development trends and the demand for residential housing and other mixed-use structures that will add important amenities to the communities where they are situated and drive traffic to the retail and food service components of the projects. Major mall ownership and management teams in Canada are the masters of densification that keeps these properties relevant to the consumer and a blue-chip commercial real estate investment over the long term.”
Michael L. Kehoe┃ Comments on shopping Centres adding density to their sites┃ April 2022 ┃ Retail Insider
“There is a pronounced flight to value in the Canadian market as consumers look to save money in these inflationary, turbulent times.
Retailers across the value-oriented spectrum are capitalizing on this by expanding their store networks and merchandise offerings.
Grocery discounters and dollar stores are some of the clear winners as the retail landscape shifts to cater to more price conscious shoppers.
In consumer real estate circles retail chains like Dollarama are referred to as, “the store that ate Canada” with around 1400 locations and counting.”
Michael L. Kehoe┃ Comments on Discount Stores ┃ March 2022 ┃ Retail Insider
“The lifting of the Provincial government mask requirement in Alberta is welcome news for the food service industry. Bars and restaurants are returning to a pre-COVID-19 sense of normalcy that this is the most welcome and final component of moving through a so-called ‘endemic’ era. This is a natural progression that follows the lifting of such measures in most other jurisdictions. Expressive eyes have been an effective communicative mechanism while masked up over the past two years. Now the smile is back and the handshake hiatus is over. Welcome news as we move into springtime with smiling faces while visiting our favourite pubs and dining establishments.”
Michael L. Kehoe┃ Comments on Alberta lifting Mask Mandates ┃ February 2022 ┃ Retail Insider
“The predicted 2021 retail apocalypse never happened, however, there were obvious winners and losers on the Canadian retailing scene.
Home fashion, furniture and junior women’s apparel excelled while other categories weren’t so fortunate as they were confronted with staffing and supply chain issues amongst other challenges.
We witnessed a definite thinning of the pack as a number of retail chains entered court pretension consolidating locations or folded all together.
Many retailers avoided bankruptcy with the temporary cooperation of their suppliers, lenders and / or landlords. By kicking the proverbial can down the road
future survival or success is not assured as many landlords are playing it tough on lease renewals or extension of rent reductions often taking spaces back to be recycled with new tenancies.
2022 will be a pivotal year as many new retail ventures emerge and new retailers enter the Canadian market. Retail is always evolving and changing especially in this unprecedented
time of disruption and opportunity.”
Michael L. Kehoe┃ Comments on Retailer Bankruptcy ┃ January 2022 ┃ Retail Insider
“Retail is always changing and evolving, and we have seen ten years of change in the past seven months in this time of accelerated disruption. Although we are in the thick of the transformation of the consumer real estate and the retail industry, we are still in the birth canal of this process and will be well into 2021. Many retailers and building owners are struggling to cope with the changes and an unknown future that will be either terrifying or exciting as we strategize for “what could be” for the retail future in Canada. As the structures, we have come to know and rely on seem to be crumbling before us, the future can either add to the fear or it can inspire the industry with new ideas and innovative possibilities. 2021 will see stores and restaurants continue to close and new ones will open. Building owners and their lenders will adapt and governments will need to get out of the way so as not to impede or delay the transformation of retail properties as they enter a new era to better serve the consumers in the markets where they are situated. Shopping centres and the concept of organized retail is the greatest entrepreneurial development in human history and both sides of the tenant, landlord equation will continue to be inspired by the challenges and the unknown trajectory of the future. The consumer real estate industry was built on relationships and the major adjustment in this intense time of change and unpredictability will be centred around the reorganization of relationships throughout the consumer real estate transactional chain. 2021, bring it on!”
Michael L. Kehoe ┃ Comments on Retailers in 2021 ┃ Retail Insider
“2021 was the year of the supply-chain wake-up-call for Canadian business and all levels of government but will they heed the call? Disruptions in labour supply, retail merchandise shipments, delivery of components and food ingredients caused in part by the Pandemic and the recent floods in British Columbia should be leading to a re-set of how and where products and materials are sourced and delivered for and to Canadians. This will require a deep dive into the efficiency of our ports, highway and rail transportation networks & the related infrastructure. The wake-up-call should extend to Canadian manufacturing capabilities along with the delivery our abundant oil and gas production to domestic and international markets. Recent food insecurity and gas rationing in British Columbia should be setting off alarm bells at all levels of industry, throughout the food supply chain and transportation networks with municipal, provincial and federal officials. Our dependency on Asia and primarily China for cheap manufactured goods must be adjusted in the coming years as Canada wakes up to the need to becomes more self-reliant to fuel, feed and supply itself.”
Michael L. Kehoe ┃ Comments on Supply Chain ┃ November 2021 ┃ Retail Insider
“The strategic alliance between Ivanhoe Cambridge and JLL is a significant development on the Canadian commercial real estate scene.
The alliance comes at a time when the bricks & mortar retail and retail real estate in general is in a period of disruption and change. JLL, the largest
third-party management group in North America brings abundant operations and leasing muscle to the partnership and this bodes well for the Ivanhoe real estate properties and projects.
I am certain that with fresh eyes and boots on the ground JLL will provide the innovation and horse power needed in these challenging times that will lead to positive results over time across this national portfolio.”
Michael L. Kehoe ┃ Comments on JLL - Ivanhoe alliance ┃ August 2021 ┃ Newswire
“The Walmart Canada announcement on the reinvestment in their stores and the Canadian construction and supply chain jobs that will be created is welcome news.
The fact that one of the largest retailers in the country is doubling down on their bricks & mortar stores is proof that a physical store is the blue-chip workhorse of any retail strategy.
The business of retail is a dynamic and ever-changing industry and firms like Walmart are constantly reinventing themselves. The firm’s momentum in e-commerce and the grocery segment
of their business provides a distinct competitive advantage in Canada and adds to their omni-channel retail capacity. In a time where many American retailers are shuddering
their stores and retreating from Canada it is refreshing to see commitment to the customer experience from this major player.”
Michael L. Kehoe ┃ Comments on Walmart Canada ┃ March 2021 ┃ Retail Insider
“The most prominent takeaway from the Deloitte opinion on the future of the mall is that consumer real estate landlords need to create “a new destination” to be competitive. Retail real estate and shopping centres are always changing and evolving. Bricks and mortar retail will always change and adapt to market conditions and consumer demand and the pace of that process is being accelerated. Shopping centres as we know them now will reconfigure, redevelop, de-mall, add density to become more community oriented with a more localized leasing focus to better serve their customers, and the trade areas where they are situated to be relevant destinations. The shopping centre has had ten years of disruption in the past five months and it is clear that the Darwinian struggle that is retailing is no longer the survival of the fittest. It will be the survival of the creative.”
Michael L. Kehoe ┃ Comments on Deloitte Opinion on Retail / Malls
┃ July 2021 ┃ Retail Insider
“The Balzc commercial hub, located in Rocky View County north of Calgary has quietly evolved into a significant destination for large scale business ventures. The momentum began ten years ago with the development of the CrossIron Mills regional shopping centre by Ivanhoe Cambridge. Major logistics facilities such as the New Horizon Mall, a casino and race track plus the Amazon distribution centre followed and the momentum continues with the recent Lowes announcement of a new 1.23 million square foot distribution centre. Balzc enjoys the close proximity to the YYC Calgary International Airport, the Calgary ring road and the Queen Elizabeth Highway #2 highway network. Rocky View County is development friendly jurisdiction with a favourable taxation structure that will continue to attract many new large-scale facilities.”
Michael L. Kehoe ┃Comments on Lowes ┃ June 2020 ┃ High Plains Industrial Park