Downtown Vancouver sees a strong year of retail and dining recovery as visitors return

The Downtown Storefront Report is an overview of Downtown Vancouver’s retail and dining conditions. Downtown Van has collected data to help identify how the retail and restaurant industries have fared since coming out of the lockdown periods during the pandemic. Since November 2021, Downtown Van has developed a complete database of its 1,048 storefronts. This report outlines how vacancy has changed and highlights key openings and closings in the Downtown Van catchment.

  1. 27 new food and beverage businesses since November 2021
  2. 15 new retail businesses open since November 2021
  3. Spending growth at Downtown Vancouver restaurants reached as high as 187% in 2022 compared to 2021.
  4. 1.6% increase in open storefront businesses since November 2021
  5. With 11 new businesses, quick-service dining saw more new businesses than any other category.
Downtown Spending—Average weekly growth compared to 2021

Consumer spending downtown has seen exceptional growth in comparison to 2021. May 2022 saw a 261% increase in travel and entertainment spending compared to May 2021. Spending growth in travel and entertainment did not reach below 50% until August. Dining and retail saw growth throughout the entire year as well. Dining growth peaked in April as the first patio season without social distancing restrictions brought more customers to downtown restaurants. Despite encouraging spending growth, inflation rates affected consumer spending, particularly in the summer months. Beginning in June and July, the strong year-over-year growth began to slow in correlation with the highest monthly inflation rates by that point in 2022.