Anchor Tenant

An anchor tenant, also known as a draw tenant, is a large, well-known retailer or company that occupies a significant amount of space in a shopping centre, mall, or commercial development. Anchor tenants are crucial for attracting foot traffic and other smaller tenants to the property. Their presence helps create a steady stream of customers, which benefits all businesses within the development.

Importance of Anchor Tenants

Anchor tenants play a pivotal role in the success of commercial real estate projects. Their importance includes:

  1. Attracting Customers: The reputation and draw of anchor tenants attract a high volume of shoppers, which benefits smaller stores.
  2. Increased Property Value: The presence of reputable anchor tenants can increase the value of the property and make it more appealing to other retailers.
  3. Stabilising Occupancy Rates: Anchor tenants often sign long-term leases, providing financial stability and reducing vacancy rates.
  4. Boosting Revenue: The increased foot traffic generated by anchor tenants leads to higher sales for other retailers, increasing the overall revenue for the property.

Types of Anchor Tenants

Anchor tenants can vary depending on the type of commercial property. Common types include:

  1. Department Stores: Large retail stores offering a wide range of products, such as Myer or David Jones.
  2. Supermarkets: Grocery chains like Woolworths or Coles that attract regular, repeat customers.
  3. Big-Box Retailers: Large-scale retailers like Bunnings Warehouse or Kmart that offer a variety of goods at competitive prices.
  4. Specialty Stores: Major brands or stores specialising in a particular category, such as IKEA for furniture or JB Hi-Fi for electronics.

Benefits of Having an Anchor Tenant

For Property Owners

  • Financial Stability: Anchor tenants provide a reliable source of rental income due to their long-term leases and stable financial standing.
  • Increased Leasing Appeal: The presence of an anchor tenant makes the property more attractive to potential tenants, simplifying the leasing process.
  • Enhanced Property Image: Well-known anchor tenants enhance the overall image and prestige of the property, attracting more visitors and potential tenants.

For Other Tenants

  • Increased Foot Traffic: Smaller tenants benefit from the high volume of customers drawn by anchor tenants, leading to increased sales and visibility.
  • Marketing and Promotions: Anchor tenants often engage in extensive marketing campaigns, which can indirectly benefit other tenants by drawing attention to the location.
  • Shared Amenities: The presence of an anchor tenant often leads to better amenities and infrastructure, benefiting all tenants.

Challenges and Considerations

While having an anchor tenant offers numerous benefits, there are also challenges and considerations:

  1. Dependency: Heavy reliance on one or a few anchor tenants can be risky if they decide to vacate or close down.
  2. Lease Negotiations: Anchor tenants often have substantial negotiating power, leading to lease terms that may be less favourable for property owners.
  3. Space Requirements: Anchor tenants typically require large amounts of space, which can limit the availability for other tenants.

Example of an Anchor Tenant in Action

Case Study: Westfield Shopping Centres

Westfield shopping centres in Australia often feature multiple anchor tenants, such as major department stores (Myer, David Jones), supermarkets (Woolworths, Coles), and big-box retailers (Kmart, Target). These anchor tenants are strategically placed to draw significant foot traffic into the shopping centre.

For instance, in Westfield Bondi Junction, the presence of Myer and David Jones as anchor tenants attracts a large number of shoppers. These shoppers, in turn, visit smaller specialty stores, fashion boutiques, and dining establishments within the centre. The steady flow of customers benefits all retailers, contributing to the overall success and vibrancy of the shopping centre.


Anchor tenants are essential components of successful commercial real estate developments. They attract large numbers of customers, provide financial stability, and enhance the property’s appeal. Both property owners and smaller tenants benefit from the presence of well-known, reputable anchor tenants. However, managing the relationship with anchor tenants requires careful consideration of lease terms, space requirements, and the potential risks of dependency.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this page is for general informational and educational purposes only and is never intended as financial advice. While we strive to ensure that the content is accurate and up-to-date, it may not reflect the most current legal or financial developments. Always consult with a qualified financial advisor or professional before making any financial decisions. Use the information at your own risk.

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