One of the busiest shopping malls in Canada is about to get busier. Ottawa's Rideau Centre will be welcoming Quebec-based "Simons" in two years’ time.  It’s part of a major influx of high-end department stores into our region. The Rideau Centre won't confirm that Simons is moving in. Neither will Simons except it's all over the department store’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. The news has shoppers all atwitter.

“I actually got this scarf from Simons,” says shopper Paulina Dymel, “So that’s exciting news.”

Shopper Shirley Huang adds, “That's awesome because that's the main reason why I go to Montreal.”

Simons is a Quebec-based department store, selling higher end fashion. It's the latest in a string of department stores announcing plans to move into Ottawa.

I think the department store industry is renewing itself,” says retail analyst Barry Nabatian, “bringing in new names, new product, new renovations.” 

Nabatian says shoppers in our region spend $22-billion dollars every year on retail sales but only a fraction of that, $1-billion dollars, in department stores.

But that's about to change with Marshalls already here, Target opening this fall.  Now Simons and Nordstrom are both planning high end stores in Rideau for the spring of 2015.

“I think the two of them will make the Rideau Centre and Ottawa  a much better place for shoppers,” says Nabatian, “and therefore much less leakage of shopping dollars into Montreal and into the US particularly.”

The Rideau Centre won't confirm Simons is coming but Simons’ own Facebook account confirms the news. It's part of a major and much-needed facelift for the Rideau Centre, according to shopper Paulina Dymel, “I was having a conversation with a friend that Rideau needs to revamp its style. Bayshore is getting new stores; St. Laurent has upped its game so that's good news.”

Rideau is relocating its entire food court to the bottom floor of the old Sears site and adding several retail shops as well. That will happen in the fall of 2014.   Rideau, already one of the busiest malls in the country with 60-thousand people passing through there every day, is about to get busier.

“That's awesome,” says shopper Natasha Corbett. “I really don't come to Rideau that often but I’d come if it opened.”