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A major department store or chain store located in a shopping center so as to attract customers who will then shop at the smaller, satellite stores; sometimes referred to as a traffic generator or magnet store.
• Because of the critical importance of that traffic to the smaller tenants, wise shopping center owners in a position to negotiate terms will prohibit the anchor from going dark, meaning vacating its space. Otherwise, the anchor could move to a more desirable location, continue paying the rent for the old property, but effectively cause most of the other tenants to go out of business and default on their leases because of the lack of traffic. Unfortunately, important anchor tenants usually have the clout to refuse to sign a lease with such terms.
• Anchor tenants often reserve the right to dictate the selection of the satellite tenants and to prohibit ones which might be incompatible with their core philosophies (such as liquor stores) or who might compete with their merchandise sales.
• Arelated term is shadow anchor, used when a small shopping center wants to communicate that an important traffic generator is next door or directly across the street. An ad might read, “Subject property shadow anchored by Wal-Mart to the east and Target to the west.”