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Open Air Center:   A shopping center or complex that is not enclosed. Open Air Centers may have canopies connecting storefronts, and almost always have walkways in front of or between the storefronts, but the store fronts are not enclosed.

Mall:  This is the second most prevalent form of a Shopping Center. This form of shopping center has an enclosed walkway. Storefronts are turned inside to face a center walkway or atrium.

Hybrid:  Although Open Air Centers and Malls are the two primary forms that exist for Shopping Centers, there are many centers that exhibit the characteristics of both. Some have stores facing inside, with an enclosed mall area or walkway, and have additional stores facing out in the Open Air fashion. These centers are hybrid forms.



Regional Center:  This form of mall, is generally enclosed, and contains larger anchor tenants, such as a traditional department store, an upscale department store, discount department store or fashion department store and many specialty stores and stores of general merchandise such as apparel and services. The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)considers a Regional Center to be 400,000 to 800,000 square feet and draws most customers from a 5 to 15 mile radius.

Super Regional Center:  The primary difference between Regional and Super Regional Centers is size. This form of mall has more anchor tenants and a larger mix of specialty stores and general merchandise. The ICSC considers a Super Regional Center to be over 800,000 square feet. Super Regional Centers draw their primary customers from a 25 mile radius.


Outlet Center:  Usually located in tourist locations or rural areas, outlet centers consist mostly of manufacturers' outlet stores selling their own brands at a discount. A strip configurations is the most common layout of outlet centers, although some are enclosed malls, and others may be arranged in a "village" cluster.

Lifestyle Center:  An open air center that is designed, in many cases, to resemble a historic downtown, or to be laid out for shoppers to browse and relax with exterior benches, fountains and eye pleasing designs. This design is called "village clustered". The key work for a Lifestyle Center is ambiance. Generally located very close to affluent residential neighborhoods, Lifestyle Centers cater to the retail needs and "lifestyle" pursuits of consumers in its trading area. Typical tenants are upscale national chain specialty stores, high end restaurants and entertainment. These centers may be anchored by one or more conventional or fashion specialty department store. Because a common theme of Lifestyle Centers is a downtown look, there are often streets between stores, and parking is located throughout the exterior of the center.

Power Center:  A center dominated by several large anchors, including discount department stores, off-price stores, or warehouse clubs. The center typically consists of several freestanding anchors and only a minimum amount of small specialty tenants.

Boutique Center:  A center composed mainly of upscale apparel shops, boutiques and craft shops carrying selected fashion or unique merchandise of high quality and price. These centers need not be anchored, although sometimes restaurants or entertainment can provide the draw of anchors.

Theme Center:  These centers typically employ a unifying theme that is carried out by the individual shops in their architectural design and somewhat in their merchandise. The biggest appeal of these centers is to tourists; they can be anchored by restaurants and entertainment facilities. These centers, generally located in urban areas, tend to be adapted from older, sometimes historic buildings and be part of mixed use projects.

Community Center:  Community center tenants sometimes contain off-price retailers selling such items as apparel, home improvement/furnishings, toys, electronics or sporting goods. Common anchor tenants for community centers are supermarkets, large drugstores and discount department stores. Community center tenants can sometimes include big-box category-dominant retailers such as Home Depot, Lowes, Best Buy, TJ Max, Toys R Us, or other big-box retailers. The center is usually configured as a strip, in a straight line, "L" or "U" shape.

Neighborhood Center:  This center is designed to provide convenience shopping for the day-to-day needs of consumers in the immediate neighborhood. According to ICSC's SCORE publication, roughly half of these centers are anchored by a supermarket, while about a third have a drugstore anchor. A neighborhood center is usually configured as a straight-line strip with no enclosed walkway or mall area.