Enhance Shopping Mall Leasing Strategies with Spatial Intelligence

Mall operators can leverage Spatial Intelligence to create winning leasing strategies through a data-driven approach.

4 min readJun 28, 2022

By Nicole O’Keefe, Product Marketing Manager at Pathr.ai

Key Takeaways:

  • Leverage Spatial Intelligence to increase lease rates.
  • Discover how to create successful tenant placements using traffic and dwell impression data.
  • Quantify the relative value of each unit at your mall based on real-time analytics.

Shopping malls are transforming into places where people come together and socialize, dine in fast-casual and casual restaurants, and shop the latest brands. Having the right mix of tenants increases a mall’s interest among shoppers and helps maximize the performance of the property.

Understanding how shoppers move and interact inside a shopping mall is fundamental to mall owners eager to find, attract and retain a tenant. In particular, Spatial Intelligence has unlocked new opportunities for teams to optimize lease rates and benchmark how certain brands within their portfolio are performing across territories. Here, we hone in how operators and leasing teams can lead the way in increasing the success of their malls using a data-driven approach with Spatial Intelligence.

The State of Leasing Today

Today, most mall operators make relationship-based decisions when entering into leasing conversations with current and prospective tenants. The industry has long flourished as a relationship-oriented business, with leasing teams evaluating the local market to strike a fair deal. However, with the expanded availability of data, operators can evaluate their leasing models through an analytical lens and arrive at negotiations in a much more informed manner. In order to achieve this level of data-driven decision making, operators and leasing teams need to tap into Spatial Intelligence.

Enter Spatial Intelligence

Spatial Intelligence is about understanding the movement of people through physical spaces. Combined with machine learning, actionable and relevant insights are produced, allowing for deep knowledge into how people utilize these spaces. At Pathr.ai, our Spatial Intelligence platform turns anonymous location data of people’s movements into valuable insights that drive growth. For mall operators and leasing teams, this knowledge is key when making smarter business decisions with data.

Specific insights based on shopper movement patterns can help operators answer questions such as: Which retail locations are gaining more benefits in traffic and dwell than they’re paying for in lease rates? Are anchor stores driving shopper traffic into this mall and if so, which ones? Which tenant combinations can produce the highest amount of mall sales?

Impact of Data-Driven Leasing Teams

With the power of Spatial Intelligence, operators can make leasing decisions through a data-driven strategy. For example, let’s consider cross-location benchmarking. Leasing teams overseeing a brand’s performance across multiple shopping malls in a region or territory can leverage Spatial Intelligence to quantify lease rates for their portfolio. Analyzing trends, such as higher shopper impressions of a brand in one mall compared to another allows a leasing team to possibly reprice lease rates for their tenant.

Figure 1: Lease rate normalization example identifying lease rate improvement opportunities using Spatial Intelligence.

Shopper foot traffic and impression data is invaluable for an operator focused on optimizing tenant mix and store placements in a shopping mall. By understanding at a granular level the movement and behavior of their shoppers, operators can identify trends and set lease rates accordingly through a data-driven approach. For example, let’s take a store located in a low traffic area. Supplied with real-time shopper impressions, a leasing manager may choose to relocate that store near high traffic stores, increasing the odds that shoppers will enter that store and boost their sales potential.

Figure 2: Pathr.ai’s Spatial Intelligence platform presents key metrics that quantify tenant value inside shopping malls.

Examining store performance through Spatial Intelligence and weighing the opportunities and risks associated with relocating tenants based on traffic and impressions is the next level of transforming your mall with deeper levels of knowledge. With real-time data, leasing teams can quantify the relative value of each unit at their mall based on regularly updated traffic and impressions, augmenting the traditional approach of supply and demand based pricing. For instance, leasing managers can assess cross-shopping patterns to entice similar type tenants to occupy a space at their mall.

As mall operators gain deeper levels of knowledge about how their shoppers move throughout their malls, the need to incorporate these data-driven insights into leasing strategies is becoming clearer. Spatial Intelligence presents an opportunity for leasing teams to approach tenant renewals or negotiations in a structured and analytical perspective. Relationship oriented sales teams armed with local market competitive knowledge and a superior understanding of shopper traffic will allow malls to realize higher lease rates.

This incremental value-add to their sales process can enable smarter negotiations with new and current tenants and uncover discrepancies in the value of leases within each and every unit in their shopping mall. Equipped with granular data into shopper traffic patterns and impressions for every store’s location at a mall, operators can maximize store revenue and performance and set the new standards of retail leasing to the entire industry.

For more Spatial Intelligence insights, visit https://pathr.ai/.




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