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How to Evaluate a Supermarket in a Retail Shopping Center Performance Review

A supermarket in a retail shopping centre is generally an anchor tenant in a particular location, and perhaps one of a few anchor tenants of similar type, all seeking to attract customers to the property. (NB – you can get our free commercial and retail property training here)


A supermarket is therefore an important part of retail property performance today. You can and should be working closely with the owners of the supermarket business. Their business success will help and direct the customer interest in your retail shopping centre.


So what can you do here with this important category of anchor tenant?  You should evaluate the supermarket in your tenancy mix regularly to ensure that it is providing the best shopping solution to the customer demographic. The customers to a shopping centre will visit the supermarket regularly and frequently. That is a retail advantage to be understood and optimised.


Customers create sales, so each and every tenant in the shopping centre, including the supermarket, should be encouraged to boost customer interest and encourage repeat visits to the property. Many different marketing strategies across all of the tenants in the mix can be channelled to one common interest. That interest is to increase sales and customer involvement.


Keep retail property performance simple


In simple terms, a supermarket should be matched to the requirements of the customers, the levels of trade, and the local demographic.


The supermarket should be easy to access, and should provide a convenient and comfortable shopping solution.


Here below are some thoughts to help you evaluate your supermarket as part of assessing the shopping centre performance on a regular basis.


Retail trends and changes


Look for the trends and the changes with the operator of the supermarket; look at the performance of the business and their product offering.

Here are some ideas to address those things:


  1. Marketing spend – the anchor tenants in any shopping centre will need to spend money on marketing. Importantly that marketing that they focus on and budget for should be consistent in message and comprehensive and coverage. Each year the dollars spent in marketing should be significant and directed to the correct customer profiles and demographic. Regular market research will help direct the marketing spend accordingly.
  2. Turnover per unit of area – look at the sales results for the shopping centre and also the supermarket. Compare those numbers on a seasonally based assessment. Look for the peaks and troughs in sales turnover throughout the year. Compare the trends seasonally adjusted for the supermarket and also for the shopping centre. There should be some similarities in levels of trade and customer interest.
  3. Customer base – understand the customer profile and demographic for the supermarket. Make sure that it is matched clearly and directly to the marketing currently undertaken. You can research the customer base regularly to understand what people are thinking and doing as part of visiting the shopping centre and purchasing from the supermarket.
  4. Supermarket variety and modernization – review the supermarket for layout and convenience. The same can be said for variety and pricing.
  5. Size of premises – look at the configuration of shelves and isles within the premises to ensure that goods are correctly displayed and conveniently accessible. You can compare the factors of convenience and display to other supermarkets in the same general location or in other competing shopping centres.
  6. Customer surveys – undertake regular surveys, perhaps six monthly, to know what people are thinking and doing as part of shopping at the supermarket. Identify the days of the week, and the peak times of day where they will be visiting the centre most regularly.
  7. Competing properties – compare your property to others of similar type locally. In that comparison, look at road configurations, convenience, car parking, marketing, customer demographic, and tenancy mix. As part of the tenancy mix assessment in any and all competing properties, identify levels of vacancy and current retail configuration.


So there are plenty of good things that you can do here as part of a supermarket evaluation and its contribution to the enhancement of shopping centre performance.

Understand the shopping centre and how the anchor tenants can improve customer interest and customer spend. Put your supermarkets at the centre of your tenancy mix strategy and property performance.

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