Dear Associates,

 

COVID-19 cases have started to creep up again, so I am dialing the frequency of my COVID updates back up again.

 

First off, you should know that I am extremely proud of how we have shown up over the past six months.  Despite a very challenging year, we have maintained a strong financial position and positive development momentum:

 

  • RETAIL OPERATIONS:  Over 95% of our tenants are now open and operational, and we have upheld our industry leading occupancy rate (over 97%).
  • RENT COLLECTIONS:  We collected 85% of billings in July and anticipate that number to increase to 94-96% once CECRA and deferral recoveries are applied to the month.
  • DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY:  We advanced 40 million square feet of density since the onset of COVID-19, through planning, applications, approvals and mobilization.

 

What you are doing is making a difference!   Moreover, Walmart Canada’s sales were up 14% last quarter, driven by customers spending nearly 40% more on each transaction.  With 3/4 of our centres anchored by a Walmart, this emphasizes the strength and stability of our shopping centres notwithstanding challenging times.

 

Unfortunately, COVID-19 is not yet behind us.  With the COVID trendline no longer declining, the BCLT is meeting more frequently to ensure we remain informed and proactive.  We also continue to receive questions via the confidential Ask the BCLT survey, asked of BCLT members directly, and/or escalated informally.

 

Here is a ‘question and answer’ document, to ensure that we are addressing the questions that are on your minds.  As you read through the Q&A, you will see that there is a clear and consistent underlying theme to the answers:  Our priorities are indisputable and straightforward.

  • PRIORITY 1:  Your safety and well-being, and
  • PRIORITY 2:  The continued achievement of our business strategy.

 

These priorities complement each other well.  In addition to the intrinsic benefits of having healthy and engaged Associates, a healthy and motivated workforce allows us to take advantage of opportunities to progress the business forward, which in turn, is beneficial for all of us as Associates.  We could not do this without you.

 

Please continue submitting your questions and suggestions via the confidential Ask the BCLT survey, and remain vigilant in your daily lives to minimize exposure to, and transmission of, COVID-19.

 

Stay strong and stay safe,

Peter