A Sapperton resident thinks he knows the new anchor tenant at the Royal City Centre, and the answer just dropped into his lap, or, more precisely, his inbox.
Greg Daily said he received an email survey on Tuesday from Air Miles asking him if he will shop at an "urban" Wal-Mart at Royal City Centre.
"You get surveys about shopping and all kinds of weird things. Some of them are pretty vague and silly questions, and some of them you answer, and some of them you don't," he said, adding the survey explicitly used the names Wal-Mart and Royal City Centre.
After talking to a retired Wal-Mart staffer, Daily has another reason to believe Wal-Mart is going into the mall.
"It was sort of let out of the bag, as well," Daily said about his conversation with the retiree.
Asked if he will shop at the new Wal-Mart, Daily laughed and said no.
"I'm not a Wal-Mart person," Daily said, adding he has yet to go into the big-box Wal-Mart in Queensborough.
In November, The Globe and Mail wrote a story about Wal-Mart's move toward "smaller stores tailored to urban cores." The story states the company was on a building frenzy, but many of the stores were "smaller than the prototype box with more design and content tailored to the characteristics of the communities they are joining."
Monika Hildebrand, vice-president of the Western Canada corporate office of the company that owns Royal City Centre, Strathallen Capital Corp., was surprised to hear about the Air Miles survey.
"I had no idea that anything like that exists, in terms of this Air Miles thing," she said. "I can't comment on that at all. I'm very, very surprised because there should be no information disclosed at this point about what's going on at Royal City Centre, so I don't know where that information came from. It did not come from us."
She would not confirm whether the Wal-Mart store was going into the centre.
The Record hadn't heard back from Wal-Mart's communication department at press time.
For months now there have been various theories on which business will go into the fledgling mall. Speculation ramped up recently after the city received a development permit application from the mall to build an atrium-style entrance off Sixth Avenue near Eighth Street, beside the Dynamic Health and Fitness entrance.
© Copyright 2013