The first mall to be built in 20 years across Western Canada opens today, but it doesn’t have Calgary markets fearful of losing customers.

Two of Calgary’s largest malls, Southcentre and Chinook, see only a temporary decline in customers as mega mall Cross Iron Mills opens its doors.

Eve Renaud, assistant general manager at Chinook Centre, said the new mall adds to the retail climate in Calgary, and she expects Calgarians to check out the new mall at first but doesn’t see a decline in shoppers in the future.

“I think long-term, Calgarians are going to shop where their existing needs are,” said Renaud.

Southcentre’s Shawn Hanson doesn’t anticipate a loss of traffic because their regular customers come from the south.

Both managers said each mall has its niche by offering stores not found elsewhere in the city, such as Pottery Barn in Chinook and the Crate and Barrel opening this fall in Southcentre.

Lynne Ricker, from the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary, expects Cross Iron Mills to affect other malls in the short-term because it has “cache” and people will be doing back-to-school shopping.

Ricker said the mall’s long-term outlook depends on the economy.

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