Saskatoon’s downtown population is not large enough to attract a grocer into the core area, a new market survey indicates.

The survey, conducted by the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority at the request of city council, gauged grocers’, food cooperatives’ and developers’ interest in setting up a store downtown.

“Most indicated they had no desire as the current population is not sufficient to support a store,” the city said in a news release Wednesday.

Saskatoon’s Central Business District was home to 3,273 people last year, according to City of Saskatoon numbers. 

“SREDA's research concluded that industry continues to be interested in the Saskatoon market; however, currently there is insufficient population to support a downtown grocery store,” Alex Fallon, SREDA president and CEO, stated in the city’s news release. “That being said, if the downtown population continues to grow, and we develop the right mix of incentives and business conditions, we are hopeful that it's a case of when, and not if, a grocer will invest in our downtown.”

The cost of land, rent, construction, and finding an appropriate site and adequate parking were also cited by grocers as challenges to building a store downtown.