Demetree Real Estate Blog

How to Achieve the Best Tenant Mix For Your Shopping Center

[fa icon="calendar"] 04.06.2017 / by Hunter Strickland


Creating the right tenant mix is essential to boosting the performance of any retail property. A bad mix of tenants will result in poor sales and a low tenant retention rate; which can affect the value of the property.

So how can you achieve the best tenant mix for your shopping center? Here are some tips:

Start with Your Anchor Tenant(s)

For any shopping center, finding an anchor tenant should be the starting point. Your anchor tenant will be the backbone of your development and should be locked in as early as possible during the planning stage.

In most cases, your anchor tenant will have the most floorspace and generate the majority of your business. They will usually sell household items, clothing or groceries. They must also be willing to commit to a longer lease than the rest of your tenants.

Create a Cluster

Clustering refers to the process of placing tenants in close proximity, based on their relevance to one another, to create “zones” of customer activity and increase sales. The idea is that when a customer is making a purchase, they are likely to make another purchase soon. By putting complimentary tenants near each other, you can facilitate this activity and enable your tenants to benefit from one another.

An example of a cluster would be the following:

  • Women’s fashion
  • Women’s shoes
  • Jewelry
  • Beauty supplies
  • Women’s sportswear

Specialty Tenants

Once you get the cluster right, it is time to think about introducing specialty stores that will encourage shoppers to stick around and make additional purchases. Your specialty tenants should be chosen with regards to shopping patterns and your desired customer profile.

Examples of typical specialty tenants include:

  • Coffee shops
  • Bakeries or dessert shops
  • Unique gifts

Make sure the lease allows you to monitor the sales for each of your specialty tenants so that you can evaluate how effective your tenant mix is and identify any weak links.

Franchise Tenants

Franchise tenants will usually fall under the category of “specialty tenants.” Retail chains and franchise groups often have a “built-in” customer base and can quickly generate customer interest in your shopping center. You don’t want to just sign any franchise group, though. It’s important to do research and look into what brands are likely to peak the interest of your desired customer profile.


Creating the right tenant mix for your retail center takes planning. A skilled retail leasing agent will know how to relate to their customer profile and create a mix of tenants that will benefit from one another’s business. This will help to increase tenant retention and strengthen the value of the property for the landlord.


Topics: Commercial Real Estate

Hunter Strickland

Written by Hunter Strickland

Hunter Strickland joined Demetree Real Estate Services in 2016, focusing on office and retail property leasing and sales. He works on our central Florida brokerage team along with several other seasoned brokers. Hunter has previous experience in commercial real estate, with a specialty in representing medical office clients.