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Retail Centers Classification

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Яндекс цитирования

Moscow Retail Centers Classification

Retail Centers

A retail center is a number of shopping, service, catering, and entertainment facilities selected according to a Concept and operated in a specially planned building (or building complex), which is run professionally as a functional unit. Originally, Western classification included A) neighborhood, B) community, and C) regional retail centers, with later additions of D) convenience, E) super regional, and various less common types of retail centers. The parking index of a retail center is determined by its Concept. Thus, the parking volume calculation is based on the number of parking spaces required for each 100 sq. m of retail premises. In all cases, the type and specialization of a retail center is determined by the tenant mix and influence (trade area size). Furthermore, the Concept of the retail center is the basis for its architectural design, layout decisions, technical parameters, feasibility characteristics, and finally tenant selection.

The Concept of a retail center should reflect the following:
  • Target group of customers (portrait of the typical customer),
  • Type of retail center,
  • Major tenants (including anchor tenants).

Convenience Center

Convenience centers offer convenience goods and personal services (shoe repair, laundry). They contain a minimum of three stores with a total gross leasable area (GLA) of up to 2 800 sq. m and may range from 1 500 to 3 000 sq. m. It is anchored by a mini-mart. The trade area is a territory within a 5- to 10-minute walk, and the number of consumers is up to 10 000. Examples of such centers are ex-Soviet self-service stores and large food and nonfood stores that have reduced their main area and leased it to tenants (drugstore, laundry, home improvement goods, video rental, photo services, etc.).

Neighborhood Center

Neighborhood centers offer convenience goods (food, drugs, and sundries) and personal services (laundry and dry cleaning, barbershop, shoe repair, for example) for day-to-day living needs of the immediate neighborhood. They are built around a supermarket as the principal tenant. Other tenants include a drugstore and home improvement store. There are also stores selling clothing and accessories, shoes, sporting goods, and perfumery. The GLA is 5 600 sq. m. In practice, it may range from 3 000 to 10 000 sq. m. The primary trade area of the neighborhood center consists of 3 000 to 40 000 consumers living within a 5- to 10- minute drive. Examples of neighborhood centers are "Europe", "GUM - Praga", and "Magnit".

Community Center

Community centers provide the convenience goods and personal services offered by neighborhood centers, but with a wider range of soft lines (wearing apparel for men, women, and children) and hard lines (hardware and appliances). The community center makes merchandise available in a greater variety of sizes, styles, colors, and prices. Many centers are built around a junior department store, super drugstore, variety store, or discount department store as the major tenant, in addition to a supermarket. Although a community center does not have a full-line department store, it may have a strong specialty store or stores. Its typical size is about 14 000 sq. m; in practice, it may range from 9 500 to 47 000 sq. m. The primary trade area for a community center is within a 10- to 20-minute drive, and the number of consumers ranges from 40 000 to 150 000. "Global city" and "Zolotoy Vavilon" are examples of community centers.

Super Community Center

Centers that fit the general profile of a community center but contain more than 23 000 sq. m are classified as super community centers. In exceptional cases, these centers contain more than 90 000 sq. m. As a result, the community center is the most difficult category to estimate for size and drawing power.

A Power Center is a type of super community center. It contains at least four category-specific off-price anchors of 1 900 or more sq. m. These anchors typically emphasize hard goods such as consumer electronics, sporting goods, office supplies, home furnishings, home improvement goods, drugs, health and beauty aids, toys, and personal computer hardware/software. They tend to be narrowly focused but deeply merchandised category killers together with the more broadly merchandised price-oriented warehouse clubs and discount department stores. Anchors in power centers typically occupy 85 percent or more of total GLA.

Regional Center

Regional centers offer general merchandise, apparel, furniture, and home furnishings in depth and variety, as well as a range of services and recreational facilities. They are built around one or two full-line department stores of generally not less than 5 000 sq. m. They typically contain about 50 000 sq. m of GLA; in practice, they may range from 23 000 to 85 000 sq. m. Regional centers provide services typical of a business district but less extensive than those of a super regional center. The primary trade area for a regional center is within a 30- to 40-minute drive, and the number of consumers is more than 150 000. "Ramstore-City" is a typical example of a regional center.

Super Regional Center

Super Regional Centers offer an extensive variety of general merchandise, apparel, furniture, and home furnishings, as well as a variety of services and recreational facilities. They are built around three or more full-line department stores generally no smaller than 7 000 sq. m each. A super regional center typically is about 93 000 sq. m of GLA. In practice, such centers range from about 50 000 to more than 150 000 sq. m. The primary trade area for a super regional center may be up to a 1.5-hour drive, and the number of consumers is more than 300 000. MEGA is an example.

Specialty Centers

Numerous variations of these basic categories have evolved. In the broadest sense, Specialty Centers are those that fail to meet the requirements of, or are significantly different from, any of the above definitions. For example, a neighborhood retail center that has a cluster of specialty food shops - gourmet food store, butcher shop, greengrocer, wine store - as a surrogate for a supermarket might be called a specialty neighborhood center. A community-scale center that has a large fitness center as an anchor with a variety of health, nutrition, and sporting goods might have specialty status.

Specialty Retail Centers are often divided into the following groups:

  • Entertainment
  • Retail and entertainment
  • Strip Center
  • Off-price
  • Home improvement
  • Historic
  • Megamall
  • Lifestyle

The following types can also be distinguished:

  • Festival Center - the anchor is a number of entertainment and catering facilities. Shopping facilities (perfumery, gifts, clothing and accessories, jewelry) are additional. They are located in the historic center, on the central square. "Okhotny Ryad" is an example.
  • Fashion Center - it is anchored by a number of clothing and shoe stores. Other tenants are perfumery and cosmetics stores and gift shops. Fashion centers are usually located in the city center and occupy the first (from 1 to 3) floors in an office-retail center. Typical examples of a fashion center are "Petrovskiy Passage" and "Gallery Actor"
  • Outlet Center - consists mostly of manufacturers' outlet stores selling their own brands (clothing, shoes, consumer electronics and home appliances, building and finishing materials). Other tenants are service facilities. Outlet centers are usually situated in residential areas far from the center.
  • Power Center - contains four or more specialized retail trade operators offering a deep and wide assortment of some category of goods. A discount department store or catalogue trade center may be a tenant of a power center.

The given classification has been developed by the Urban Land Institute (ULI), translated and adapted for practical use in Russia.

Trade Areas

Trade area (catchment area) is the geographic area in which the majority of retail center consumers lives and works.

The boundaries of the trade areas surrounding a site are determined by a number of factors, such as:

  • type of retail center;
  • automobile and transit access;
  • physical barriers;
  • location of competing retail facilities;
  • population concentration, etc.

Trade areas are usually divided into three concentric zones:
  • Primary Trade Area - is the geographic area within which 70 to 80 percent of the center's regular customers live. In urban areas, both walking time and distance are also determinants of the primary area.
  • Secondary Trade Area - generates an additional 15 to 20 percent of the customer base. The extent of the secondary trade area varies widely and is influenced by the existence of similar centers nearby. In urban areas, the availability of transit access can dramatically expand the secondary trade area.
  • Tertiary (Fringe) Trade Area - is the broadest area from which customers might be attracted (from 5 to 10 percent). Although customers in the tertiary trade area must travel greater distances, they may be attracted to a center because it is more accessible or provides a better merchandise mix, better value, or unusual tenants. A small but sometimes significant share of a center's customers may be drawn from tourists and other visitors who do not live in the market area.

The trade area boundaries may change as time goes by; changes in competitive relationships also greatly influence the shape of the trade area. The real trade area boundaries of a retail center become clear 6 months after the center opens.


An anchor is a large retail market operator, often a chain, with a famous brand name located in the retail center as a tenant or an owner of the occupied area that attracts most of the customer traffic to a retail center. Non-retail facilities may play the role of anchor (catering facilities - food-court, service facilities - cinema, etc). The image of the place or nonprofit objects, such as architectural monuments, may perform the role of anchor.

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