14 ways for successful shopping center management

In order to successfully manage and administer a shopping center or retail park, basic industry knowledge and a well-thought-out strategy are required. Among other things, it is important to avoid vacancies and create a balanced tenant mix. In addition, rapid developments in the retail sector require fast action and efficient decision-making. When defining and following a strategy, it is therefore essential for center-management to focus on the following important data:
1) Lease terms and upcoming vacancies

Always keep an eye on which leases will expire in the coming months. By timely renegotiation with the tenant or acquisition of a new brand, you can efficiently avoid long-term vacancies of your commercial space.


2) Balanced branch- and tenant-mix

Define which tenants are required for a balanced tenant mix and for the individual concept of your center. Check which store is missing from your mix and how you can acquire it. With a well-chosen tenant mix, your center will gain in attractiveness and experience character, which in turn will have a positive effect on the number of visitors to your shopping destination.


3) Lease management

For successful leasing management of your retail space, it is important to always have special conditions and agreements with the respective tenant on hand. Often, certain conditions and dates need to be monitored on an ongoing basis. In addition, it is important to take care of lease extensions or the acquisition of new tenants in good time when a lease is about to expire.


4) Footfall traffic

Every shopping center should be able to track visitor numbers using a footfall system. This allows you to keep an overview of visitor numbers in the center-management and subsequently analyze and evaluate them together with other data. This gives you a better understanding of your customers’ visit behavior and you can use the insights gained for future marketing activities


5) Regional rental prices

On the one hand, it is difficult to acquire tenants if the rental prices are too high. On the other hand, you naturally don’t want to rent out your retail space for less than it’s worth. Accordingly, it is always essential for you to observe the market and the prices of regional competitors in order to be able to create an optimal offer for your future tenants.


6) Target group oriented stores

Not every tenant fits the concept of your shopping center. You should therefore select your tenants depending on the stores you want to use for addressing your target group. In addition, not every brand is suitable for every store space. To ensure coherence and sufficient diversity in this context, you should define a tenant mix strategy.


7) Anchor tenants

A well-managed shopping center needs anchor tenants who encourage people to visit the shopping location. Depending on your target customers, these should also be chosen carefully. Depending on the size, position and relevance of your anchor tenants, rents can differ greatly from those of normal tenants. In addition, it is important for the success of your center to keep the anchor tenant after the contract expires or to replace him with a new one.


8) Risks and opportunities

When managing a shopping center, there will always be risks to avert and opportunities to seize. The decisive factor is the point in time at which the opportunity or the risk is recognized. If this is done in time, the worst can be prevented, and possible potential can be optionally exploited.


9) Requirements oft the owner

Many owners have specific requirements when it comes to the income, expenses, rental conditions, controls, or maintenance of their properties. Accordingly, it is important to file and comply with these in a structured manner.


10) Reports

If you are using a center management software that allows you to generate regular reports, you should definitely use this function. This way, you will always have an overview of the most important key figures of your center. Accordingly, you can make faster and better decisions and identify and avert any risks in good time.


11) Business plans

Considering the above points, it is helpful to create a business plan at the beginning of the fiscal year. This should be tracked and monitored monthly. Based on this, adjustments to income, expenses, lease documentation, tenant mix, etc. must be made on an ongoing basis.


12) Presentation

In order to retain your visitors in the long term, it is extremely important that your shopping center makes a good impression both from the outside and the inside. Maintenance and cleaning work should accordingly be planned so that they take place outside regular opening hours.


13) Marketing activites

To be consistently successful with a shopping center, you need to practice effective marketing that is geared to the demographics of your customers. Especially on special occasions such as Black Friday, special promotions in your center can prove to be extremely lucrative.


14) Tools to support the center-management

Thanks to advancing digitalization, there are software solutions such as 365.retail that can support center-management in its daily work.  These help you to efficiently monitor the points mentioned above and simplify the underlying processes.  With 365.retail, you can, for example, rent out retail space more efficiently, provide better support to stakeholders, and minimize routine activities efficiently.

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