- Stouffville’s Giant Tiger, located at 5892 Main Street and a community retail staple for 20 years, is set to close on January 10, 2024.
- Speculation within the community has revolved around the plaza owner allegedly seeking a substantial rent increase. It follows a commercial listing for the 21,730 square foot facility posted in October
- However, informal talk inside the store says it has more to do with insufficient sales, and that Giant Tiger does not see a strong enough path forward after monitoring business productivity over the past few years.
- While Bullet Point News could not confirm the prior rent being paid, the plaza owner is asking $25 per square foot to lease the space with further rent escalation expected.
- Calling the decision to close the store a “last resort,” Giant Tiger would not explicitly confirm nor deny the rent factor. As with most discount retailers, profit margins can be tight.
- Alison Scarlett, Giant Tiger’s Head of PR and Communications, provided Bullet Point News with the following statement: “As a low-cost operator, we look for locations that meet our operating model—thereby allowing us to maintain our low prices and discount promise to our customers.”
- With 165 feet of storefront and two loading bays, the retail space is the largest currently available in central Stouffville. However, the owner is not interested in grocer or restaurant tenants.
While many are disappointed to lose one of the few local stores known for affordable prices and variety, Scarlett offered a bit of hope for a future location in town. “We value the community of Stouffville and are always looking for new locations to call home,” she said, noting that some liquidation discounts may be coming as they wind down their operations on Main Street.
Bullet Point News reached out to Susan Suk-Man Chiu, the Broker of Record from Jardine Henderson Realty Inc., who is managing the new leasing process. She would not provide any reasoning as to why the property owner was uninterested in a restaurant or grocer occupying the store, but said there is an opportunity to see the space divided for the right tenant(s). It will be available for occupancy starting in February.
While residents have also speculated about the prospect of an inevitable condominium tower taking its place, there is no indication that the plaza will undergo such redevelopment in the near term. However, the site sits on Western Approach Mixed-Use Area lands. Stouffville new Official Plan, which is set for adoption soon, would permit a 20-storey building consisting of commercial and residential units should such redevelopment be considered.