Retail is important for the economy and the health of towns and cities on every continent. While online shopping has already transformed the world’s largest retail markets, and will continue to do so, commercial centres still have a vital role to play as we move towards an "experience economy."

The Changing Face of Retail

When today’s customers visit shopping centres, they are looking for experiences that go well beyond traditional retail. The convenience of online shopping is leading malls to move toward a new kind of leisure proposition. For example, we provided engineering services for Mall of Egypt, a 190,000m² mall in Cairo that includes more than 400 shops and a snow park.

Shopping centres are becoming places where people go for a day out combining shopping with leisure, so they want more places to eat, drink and socialize. As a result, the percentage of food and beverage outlets is increasing. This new use of space means that structures and building services need to be adapted.

Shopping malls also need to offer constant novelty through changing mix of brands, food stops and organizing different events. This means that another defining characteristic of future shopping destinations will be their flexibility. Spaces will have to be adaptable to a multitude of uses. Public spaces between retail outlets are just as important, as they can bring more footfall to retailers.

Retailers must also embrace the experience economy. In addition to selling their goods in store, they need to reinforce their brand and showcase their products to enhance their online sales.

Expertise Across the Full Project Cycle

WSP delivers award-winning retail projects across the world, responding to the needs of investors, developers, retail clients and their customers. We focus on our clients’ commercial and business requirements, helping to create inspirational and innovative environments to attract customers and encourage them to make our client’s shopping venue their first choice.

Our services span the full project life cycle, from preliminary concept and master planning to design, implementation and aftercare. We are recognized experts in the asset management of existing malls, food stores and retail parks. Through our property services, we deliver high-quality, high-performance environments that prioritize comfort, safety and energy and resource efficiency. Through our transport expertise, we ensure that the parking lot design and access enhance the arrivals experience for customers.

Engineering Mall of Egypt


Buildings That Work

WSP has assisted with the design and redevelopment of major retail spaces across Canada. From stand-alone stores to multi-shop complexes, we help clients strategically manage their building performance, capital repair projects and operating costs. For retailers, this equates to better sales per square foot.


Small Additions, Big Results

Our specialized building repair and renewal team is dedicated to providing addition and renovation services to meet all of our retail clients’ needs. We have experience with all types of retail building projects, including interior fit-outs, building additions, seismic restrain design and upgrades, roof assessments and feasibility studies.


Optimizing Parking Decks

Parking facilities are an important amenity for retail operations. The impact of lost parking is dramatic: Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre estimates that it loses up to $600/hour during the Christmas period for every lost parking space. By using our restoration expertise to optimize parking facilities, we play a key role in keeping business booming at some of Canada’s busiest retail and trade destinations.


Greening Retail Centres

WSP has helped Canadian retailers, such as Sherway Gardens Mall in Toronto, green their spaces by providing sustainability and energy services as well as LEED project management.


Footfall Analysis for Decision Making

We help developers optimize their portfolios by advising on footfall, rental values, energy-saving strategies and by developing maintenance contracts.

The traditional rental model for shopping centres was based on turnover, but today’s customers are more likely to browse before taking advantage of competitive prices online. Even though the volumes of people might be increasing, revenues in shops are falling.

To help developers understand how people move around their shopping centres, we have developed a model to study footfall. We help developers to decide what they need to do to get the right footfall in the right places.


Energy-Efficient Solutions for Retail

Retail spaces consume a lot of energy and, with the introduction of climate change, challenges and new energy regulations, developers are re-evaluating their portfolios. Our environmental, building services and utilities teams work closely together to ensure that existing shopping centres are meeting the standards and making important energy savings.

Engineering Liverpool One


Creating Retail Destinations

A major part of the shopping experience is easy access. This relates to the amount of traffic, ease of car parking, ease of getting in and out, public transport options and the ‘feel’ of the space.

Our traffic and transport services help to make schemes accessible to the communities they serve and support planning approvals. We also provide infrastructure design to support efficient car parking, freight and service yard logistics, and local road improvements, coupled with the utilities services necessary to support our clients’ retail scheme.


Adding Value to the Bottom Line

Our long experience in retail gives us unique and in-depth understanding of the intricate nature of each project. Whether a project includes an individual store or a new shopping mall, the refurbishment of a supermarket chain or an entire retail-led urban regeneration scheme, we help our clients satisfy their customers and add value to their bottom line.