In Successfully Locating A Business, zoning and land use expert witness John J. Wallace writes on a retailer’s biggest challenge:
Finally, in considering a store location, think long and hard about your neighbors. These days a good “tenant mix” underlies the success of major malls, as well as some shopping centers. Again, complementary tenants create youth market and convenience-oriented side malls at Stanford Shopping Center. In one of the courts of Costa Mesa’s South Coast Plaza, a cluster of kid’s shops situated around a carousel ranks among the strongest children-oriented retail destinations in the country.
But some effective tenant mixes are not so obvious. For example, note the preponderance of shoe retailers in large malls anchored by department stores. Rather than cannibalizing each other’s business, these neighboring stores offer a variety that is appealing to comparison shoppers. Restaurant owners have learned the same lesson, and a collection of nearby eateries can coalesce into a successful “dining destination” (much like the food courts in many centers and malls).
By combining restaurants, multi-screen cinemas, bookstores and other complementary retailers, several centers have created distinct and impressive “night out” destinations. Only a few years ago, multi-screen cinemas located in single-purpose developments, usually surrounded by parking and nothing else. With the enormous success of mixing theaters with other forms of entertainment retailers, most new cinema construction in California now combines restaurants and complementary entertainment/lifestyle tenants.