Retail

A look at heritage buildings and storefronts from Diana Krall Plaza

Nanaimo is the regional retail and service centre for central and northern Vancouver Island.  The Retail sector is the second largest employment sector in Nanaimo, providing jobs for 7,147 local residents which accounts for approximately 14.7% of the total labour market (2021 Esri).  909 establishments in Nanaimo hold a  wholesale or retail business license, representing 14% of total business licenses in the City of Nanaimo.

There are several factors which influence Nanaimo’s role as a regional retail and service centre.  The city is the largest urban area north of Victoria, with a growing population base.  All major Island transportation corridors lead to Nanaimo and the City is a gateway between the Island and the mainland. 

The sector has benefited from an expanding market and positive economic conditions. Within a one hour drive Nanaimo has access to over 260,000 people.

SOURCE: NANAIMO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OFFICE, JUNE 2022
Business TypeCount% of Sector
411 - Farm product whl.20%
412 - Petroleum product whl.121%
413 - Food, beverage & tobacco whl.222%
414 - Personal & household goods whl.91%
415 - Motor vehicle & parts whl.81%
416 - Building material & supplies whl.425%
417 - Machinery, equipment & supplies whl.152%
418 - Miscellaneous wholesaler-distributors101%
42421 - Non-prescripton, Prescripton, Botanical Drug & Herb Merchant Wholesalers10%
425120 - Agents and brokers10%
441 - Motor vehicle & parts dealers617%
4413 - Automotive parts, accessories & tire stores10%
442 - Furniture & home furnishings stores425%
443 - Electronics & appliance stores364%
444 - Building material & garden equipment dealers455%
445 - Food & beverage stores809%
446 - Health & personal care stores647%
447 - Gasoline stations303%
448 - Clothing & clothing accessories stores9210%
4482 - Shoe stores20%
4511 - Sport, hobby & musical instrument stores233%
4513 - Book stores & news dealers354%
452 - General merchandise stores142%
453 - Misc. store retailers40%
4531 - Florists222%
45321 - Office supplies & stationery stores61%
4533 - Used merchandise stores142%
45391 - Pet & pet supplies stores101%
45399 - All other misc. store retailers121%
453998 - Marijuana stores, medical or recreational121%
454 - Non-store retailers20%
4542 - Vending machine operators71%
4543 - Direct selling establishments17219%
45439 - Other direct selling establishments10%
Total909100%

Last updated: July 29, 2022

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