Ancillary Tenant

An ancillary tenant is a smaller retail or service provider that complements the primary or anchor tenants within a shopping centre, mall, or commercial development. These tenants often occupy less space and provide additional goods and services that enhance the overall shopping experience for visitors. Ancillary tenants can include specialty shops, food outlets, personal care services, and other niche businesses that attract customers by offering unique or supplementary products.

Importance of Ancillary Tenants

Ancillary tenants play a vital role in the ecosystem of a commercial property. Their significance includes:

  1. Complementing Anchor Tenants: Ancillary tenants provide services and products that complement those offered by anchor tenants, creating a more comprehensive shopping experience.
  2. Diverse Offerings: They add variety to the tenant mix, appealing to a broader range of customer needs and preferences.
  3. Increasing Dwell Time: By offering diverse and niche products, ancillary tenants encourage shoppers to spend more time within the commercial property, increasing the likelihood of additional purchases.
  4. Enhancing Customer Experience: Services like cafes, salons, and boutiques contribute to a more enjoyable and convenient shopping environment.

Types of Ancillary Tenants

Ancillary tenants can vary widely based on the type of commercial property and the target market. Common types include:

  1. Specialty Retail Stores: Shops that sell niche products such as fashion boutiques, gift shops, or tech gadgets.
  2. Food and Beverage Outlets: Cafes, fast food restaurants, and specialty food shops that provide dining options for shoppers.
  3. Personal Care Services: Salons, spas, and fitness centres that offer personal grooming and wellness services.
  4. Entertainment and Leisure: Cinemas, gaming arcades, and other entertainment venues that enhance the leisure aspect of a shopping centre.
  5. Convenience Services: Dry cleaners, pharmacies, and postal services that offer essential services to shoppers.

Benefits of Having Ancillary Tenants

For Property Owners

  • Enhanced Tenant Mix: Ancillary tenants diversify the tenant mix, making the property more attractive to a wider range of shoppers.
  • Increased Foot Traffic: By offering a variety of goods and services, ancillary tenants help draw more visitors to the property.
  • Improved Occupancy Rates: Filling smaller retail spaces with ancillary tenants helps maintain high occupancy rates.
  • Revenue Generation: Ancillary tenants contribute to the overall revenue through rent and percentage-of-sales agreements.

For Anchor Tenants

  • Attracting Shoppers: Ancillary tenants attract customers who might not visit solely for the anchor tenants, thereby increasing overall foot traffic.
  • Supporting Sales: The diverse offerings of ancillary tenants can lead to increased sales for anchor tenants, as shoppers are likely to make multiple purchases during their visit.
  • Enhancing Customer Experience: Ancillary tenants improve the shopping environment, making it more attractive for repeat visits.

Challenges and Considerations

While ancillary tenants provide numerous benefits, there are also challenges and considerations:

  1. Lease Terms: Negotiating lease terms that are favourable for both ancillary tenants and property owners can be complex.
  2. Space Allocation: Ensuring that the right mix of ancillary tenants is strategically placed to complement anchor tenants requires careful planning.
  3. Competition: Ancillary tenants must be selected to avoid direct competition with each other or with anchor tenants, maintaining a balanced tenant mix.
  4. Turnover Rates: Ancillary tenants may have higher turnover rates than anchor tenants, requiring property managers to be proactive in maintaining full occupancy.

Example of Ancillary Tenants in Action

Case Study: Westfield Shopping Centres

Westfield shopping centres in Australia incorporate a variety of ancillary tenants to enhance the shopping experience. For example, Westfield Bondi Junction features anchor tenants like Myer and David Jones, complemented by ancillary tenants such as:

  • Fashion Boutiques: Zara, H&M, and other specialty fashion retailers attract shoppers looking for trendy and unique clothing.
  • Food Court and Restaurants: A diverse range of dining options from fast food outlets like McDonald’s to gourmet restaurants offer something for every taste, encouraging shoppers to dine on-site.
  • Personal Care Services: Salons and spas like Endota Spa provide relaxation and wellness services, enhancing the overall appeal of the shopping centre.
  • Entertainment: The Hoyts cinema complex offers movie screenings, drawing additional foot traffic and encouraging longer visits.

These ancillary tenants provide a comprehensive shopping experience that attracts a wide range of customers and supports the success of the anchor tenants.


Ancillary tenants are essential to the success of commercial developments, providing complementary goods and services that enhance the overall shopping experience. They help attract a diverse customer base, increase foot traffic, and support the financial stability of the property. Effective management and strategic placement of ancillary tenants can significantly contribute to the vibrancy and profitability of a commercial property.

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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