What is an anchor store?
An anchor store is a major retail shop that can be found inside a shopping mall or a strip mall setting. These are either big department stores or a part of a grocery retail chain. An anchor store serves as the prominent business in a mall.
However, an anchor store shouldn’t be confused with a category killer which is a big retailer or product which "kills" other stores or products in that category.
Why is an anchor store important?
An anchor store is essential in big shopping malls. The large retailer is the one that attracts customers and “anchors” the entire mall. Small retailers depend on anchor stores because they have limited budgets which are not enough to attract shoppers. Because of their large budgets and their big stock, anchor stores are the main attraction of the shopping mall.
Apart from attracting customers, anchor stores also attract new businesses. Most of the time, the developers put the name of the anchor tenant on the architectural plans for small retailers to see.
The anchor tenant makes it or breaks it for the shopping mall. When the anchor store moves out of the mall it means that the shopping center is struggling and it lacks customers. This is a sign for retailers to avoid leasing vacant spots in the center.
Types of anchor stores
Grocery stores: A grocery store is a great anchor tenant for shopping malls. Because they have a large audience, grocery stores attract a lot of traffic to the shopping center. Grocery anchor stores include Whole Foods and Central Market.
Department stores: Another anchor store option is a department store. Some of the most well-known department stores that are anchor tenants include Macy’s and Dillards.
Cinemas: While they are not necessarily a store, they are great anchor tenants. Cinemas are modern anchor tenants that bring in a lot of traffic.
Entertainment: These spaces offer amazing experiences to customers and that is why they are great anchors. Bowling alleys, ping pong tables, and other fun activities tend to attract more shoppers for other retailers.