4 Tips to Backfill Your Shopping Center When an Anchor Tenant Closes

Posted by Sam Lowder on Jun 15, 2017 8:00:00 AM

As a developer, property owner, or commercial real estate broker, your goal is to have the lowest vacancy rates in your shopping centers as possible. Sometimes that’s easy, other times not so much. But in the ever-changing retail market, what about when a shopping center loses an anchor tenant that was the main attraction for the entire shopping center? What is the best way to attract a replacement tenant that will prevent smaller retailers in the center from experiencing a significant decline in business or choose to leave?

Here are a few tips on how to proceed with re-leasing a space after an anchor leaves your shopping center:

  • Get an accurate picture of your shopping center’s trade area. A trade area analysis will give you a comprehensive understanding of the area around your shopping center—specifically, where your customers are coming from, how many potential customers are nearby, and where to find more customers (in a neighboring trade area, for example). Why is this important? This type of data is how big retailers’ real estate teams make smart site selection decisions and target their marketing to the right customers. Doing this kind of analysis as part of your marketing package to a retailer will amplify your credibility and speed up their due diligence.
  • Analyze demographics and more. Don’t just run basic demographics on consumers in your trade area. Gather as much comprehensive information as possible: population within a certain trade area, spending profiles, income, household attributes, consumer lifestyles and behavioral data. This data is what retailers are looking for, and the more you know about the consumers in your area, the better equipped you will be when you approach prospects.
  • Assess supply and demand. For any shopping center to be successful, it must meet the demands of the marketplace. No anchor tenant will move into a site without doing their own analysis—which might include something like a market feasibility study—so the most detailed, current information you can provide, the better. A surplus/leakage analysis can offer useful insight on whether sales exceed demand, which indicates consumers are traveling from outside a trade area for certain types of retail. This data on its own must be assessed in context,
  • Give them information that matters to them. OK, so you’ve gathered lots of useful data about your shopping center. Now it’s time to reach out to retailers that are not in your market but should be. The best way to attract a great anchor tenant is to give them the type of information about your site that they are seeking. Standard demographics or basic household information and population information won’t set you apart. You need solid data—which you’ll be able to collect by using Void Analysis Pro, which uses market data, demographics, lifestyle segmentation of residents, and other information to help brokers, shopping center owners, and developers collect when they need to identify best-fit tenants.

In a situation where a critical anchor tenant in your center has closed, you must step up your game to backfill the space. A standard marketing package might not grab the attention of the type of tenant you’re seeking. What can you do? Use powerful analytics—ideally the same datasets that big-name retailers use—to understand what types of retailers would find your space attractive (and a logical fit with their expansion plan) and entice them to consider your listing with that data.

If you’ve always assumed that these types of tools are out of your reach, guess again. Void Analysis Pro is far superior to any comparable tool on the market—and it’s available on demand or through an annual subscription. Void Analysis Pro will help you improve your site packets significantly. You’ll be able to analyze demographics in a trade area, get supply/demand (surplus/leakage) information, build custom models, include tenants in a trade area to assess competitor and relocation opportunities, evaluate and score co-tenancy arrangements with different retailers, and much more.

Bring more value to the information you present potential retail tenants and close deals faster! Questions about how to use data to backfill a retail space? Call us.

Topics: Retail Trade Area, Recruiting Shopping Center Tenants, Void Analysis, Demographic Data, Landlord Rep Brokers & Owners Industry, Tenant Rep Brokers & Developers Industry