The Barrhaven business landscape is shifting – and so are our shopping habits

I want to start today’s post by wishing you all a happy 2018! I’m looking forward to sharing more stories that honor the people and places that make Barrhaven such a wonderful community to live, work and play in.

I would also like to invite you to contribute your own stories to the blog. I offer free guest posts to community groups and individuals to help promote local events. I also love to share stories that celebrate local residents and their special achievements. So don’t be shy! Feel free to use our contact page to submit your story ideas (link can be found in the upper-right corner of this page). We’d love to share your contributions with the community!

Barrhaven Shopping

Is the growing Barrhaven retail sector affecting your shopping habits?

I’ve lived in Barrhaven for well over 20 years and remember back when the Barrhaven retail sector was limited to a single mall, grocery store and, a small beer and liquor store. Boy times have changed. I can honestly say that with very few exceptions (I will get to those in a moment) I was able to do most of my shopping at local retailers in 2017. Rarely did I have to leave the community because I couldn’t source a product in Barrhaven.

Let’s face it, the opening of Costco has really shaken up the local shopping scene. But let’s not forget the shiny new car dealerships that opened in 2017. In addition to being able to buy a new vehicle right here in Barrhaven, we no longer have to leave the community to have it serviced by the dealership.

We also rarely leave the community when dining out. Barrhaven is now home to a bustling restaurant and entertainment scene which saw several new restaurants open in 2017. Here is our guide to four amazing dining destinations located right here in Barrhaven.

The retail expansion has also affected our food shopping habits. For years, our family did the lion’s share of our grocery shopping at a single store. Today, we buy our food from several different retailers such as Farm Boy and Costco. What led to our shift in shopping habits?

Product freshness

You only get one chance to make a first impression. When you walk into a grocery store, you’re more often than not entering the produce department. And make no mistake, the freshness of the product really does frame your opinion of the rest of the store. Farm Boy is now our favorite shopping destination for fresh fruits and vegetables. We only wish they would open a store in West Barrhaven.

Product selection

We love the fact that new retailers are bringing additional food choices to the community. Regardless of which grocery store you shop at, you’ll pretty much find the same baseline of food staples dotting the aisles. We enjoy retailers that surprise us with new products on a regular basis. Costco is a good example of this. Every week we find something new that we’ve never experienced before. It makes shopping a bit more interesting as you never know what new products you’ll encounter – and that makes us come back again and again.

Product pricing

Competition is a good thing. There is ample evidence that the presence of Costco, Walmart and Home Depot has resulted in lower prices for consumers. This is especially true when it comes to food and fuel. If you shop around, you can significantly lower your monthly expenses without having to leave Barrhaven – and that’s a good thing. I used to buy all of my fuel at Petro-Canada – now I fill up at Costco and save between $4-$6 each and every visit. Little choices add up!

So how has the Barrhaven retail expansion affected your shopping habits? Feel free to chime in by sharing your views in the comment section.

So what’s missing from the Barrhaven retail landscape?

As happy as we are with all of the new shopping choices in our community, there are a few product categories that are missing from our retail landscape.

The first is furniture stores. Yes, we do have a few small-scale, niche furniture stores. But what I’m referring to is the bigger outlets such as The Brick, Leon’s and The Upper Room. Whenever we need a new piece of furniture, we’ve got to leave the community to make a purchase. We’re certainly big enough to warrant a decent furniture store – let’s hope it happens soon!

The second omission from our retail scene is brand-name clothing stores such as Tommy Hilfiger, Dynamite, Guess, and Garage. I’m sure you can think of several more. Point is, we often find ourselves venturing out to Bayshore Shopping Center whenever we need to shop for brand name clothing.

But there is hope! The new Trinity Common at Citygate development (home to Costco) still has 14 vacant stores. Let’s hope that some will be home to more fashion stores.

So what’s on your Barrhaven retail wish list? Let us know in the comments section.

Coming soon to Barrhaven!

2018 promises to be another great year for Barrhaven consumers. We can look forward to the imminent opening of Marshall’s, Tutti Frutti, Panago Pizza and Natural Food Pantry. And I’m sure we’ll be surprised by some new business launches soon – make sure to check in with The Barrhaven Blog and the Barrhaven Business Directory to read all about them!

 

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