Anchor Store

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Mr. Checkout is a national association of independent wagon-jobbers and full-line distributors. We distribute product to approximately 35,000 independent stores around the country and are always seeking the next hot new product. If you have a product, we want to hear from you!

Anchor Store Definition

Also known as “draw tenant”, “anchor tenant”, or “key tenant”, an anchor store is one of the largest—if not the largest—store in a mall or shopping center. It’s usually a well-known department store or retail chain. Anchor stores are great neighbors to have if you’re a small or medium retailer. These stores bring in a ton of foot traffic into your vicinity, which opens up more opportunities for your business to get discovered.

Anchor Store

In every mall, there is at least one store that draws people the most. This store draws traffic because of the brand, large advertising budgets and the nature of desirable merchandise they sell. Other stores in the mall benefit from the traffic these stores bring as there is a high chance that customers will visit the other stores. These traffic-pulling stores are known as anchor stores or anchor tenants.

Well known chain retailers such as Macy’s, Nordstrom, Von Maur, JCPenny, and Lord and Taylor are big brands and they are usually anchor stores. An anchor store can be a departmental store or retail chain. With their broad appeal, they are intended to attract a significant cross-section of the shopping public to the center. They are often offered steep discounts on rent in exchange for signing long-term leases in order to keep their presence in the mall.

Retail developers often put the names of anchor stores on the architectural plans for other businesses to see. This draws other stores and help in giving the retail developers a stronger point for the rent they are charging. Retailers also do their research on which anchor store(s) are present in a mall before they enter into lease agreements.

Statistics have shown that shopping centers with anchor stores have consistently outperformed those without one, as the anchor helps draw shoppers initially attracted to the anchor to shop at other shops in the mall.

Smaller stores are the mall pay premium in rent for the presence of anchor stores because of the traffic they attract. Because of the importance or anchor stores to a mall’s success, small retailers often try to secure certain clauses in their lease agreement that protect them if anchor stores “go dark” which means: close business. When there is a vacant, referred to as dark, anchor store space, it is a sign that the mall is struggling and an indication that smaller stores  could be in an undesirable location if the situation doesn’t turn around.

It must be noted that not only stores can be anchor tenants. Gyms with popular brand names, restaurants, and other businesses can be anchor tenants. The motive is to have them attract as much traffic as possible to the mall.

There are shadow anchors. These big brands are not in the mall but are very close. They are needed to bring traffic to the areas. Other stores benefit from these as they put out their advertisement to announce their presence in the area. Shadow stores are usually free-standing stores such as Walmart, Home Depot, Kohl’s etc.

Anchor stores spend a lot on marketing. They are aware of their position as “traffic pullers” and they are incentivized in this line with lower rent; thus, they are always having promotions and marketing strategy to keep the foot traffic ever increasing.

Anchor stores are very effective, the more they are in a shopping center, the more the traffic. Shadow stores are also very helpful as they help draw traffic to the area.

If you have a product, we want to hear from you!