Curated and organized programming is becoming an essential element of a successful retail center. While the evolution of retail has been focused on tenant mix and Internet-resistant tenants, programming has become a way to engage the community and drive foot traffic to a retail center. This can come from both the landlord and from the retailers in the center, the combination of which helps to create a dynamic environment.

“Consumers are looking for unique and connective experiences at today’s retail centers. This starts with artful tenant curation to ensure a dynamic and lively mix of shopping and dining choices,” Scott Burnham, founder and CEO of Burnham USA Equities, tells “It also requires selecting tenants who understand the importance of interactively programming their own spaces. The right tenant blend will encourage discovery among visitors and collaborations among tenants that gives rise to experiences, which is what today’s shoppers and diners increasingly desire.”

Programing can include collaborative tenant activations, events and promotions, and events organized by management, according to Burnham. It can be anything that helps drive community members to the center, and ultimately enhances the quality of the retail experience. “With the right tenant curation, retail programming will grow organically, as the tenants activate their spaces and collaborate with other tenants on larger promotions and events,” he explains. “No one knows their market/audience better than the tenants themselves, so this is a great way to launch programming. Center marketing and management teams can provide the tenants with creative support and linkage ideas to get them started.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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