Pros, Cons And Costs Of Experiential Anchors
Amidst the Krogers and Walmarts popping up all over the Metroplex, a new kind of anchor tenant is taking the spotlight. Flix Brewhouse, the theater/brewery/restaurant hybrid, will open its first North Texas location at Main Marketplace in Little Elm next May. Fieldhouse USA will open its second US location at Grapevine Mills mall in early 2017. And don't even get us started on The Star in Frisco.
This new wave of anchor tenants that prioritize experience, food and beverage over retail and dry goods can be seen in shopping centers all over the country, especially in DFW.
The trend of experiential anchor tenants definitely has staying power, especially in the Dallas area, Venture Commercial SVP Chris Corbin (below) tells us. Chris repped Flix in its recent deal.
Property owners want patrons to stay on-site longer, and theaters, restaurants, bowling alleys and game centers certainly facilitate that.
Weitzman Group managing director Blake Shipp thinks this increased popularity is a natural evolution of experiential retail—something he has seen firsthand through his representation of Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas.
But groceries and department stores need not shake in their boots quite yet. Experiential retailers have a couple of drawbacks. For one thing, their volatility matches that of other retail concepts.
These anchors must continue to change their experience to keep the consumer wanting to come back and experience something else, Blake says. The way people interact and feel while being in the store is sometimes more important than the merchandise or the movie itself.
Plus, the initial investment to get these concepts up and running costs a pretty penny. Flix will need kitchens, theater screens, seats, tables and a bar to get its 34k SF movie eatery (and drinkery) operational.
Tenants ask landlords for a lot of upfront work and capital, but then tenants often sign long-term leases with lots of renewal options, Chris tells us.