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Thinking Outside of the Big-Box: Understanding License Agreements

One critical component to the successful evolution of a shopping center is creating a stronger connection with community through attractions, events and promotions that bring a fresh vibrancy to the centers. These specialty relationships and other short-term relationships are generally memorialized in a license agreement rather than a traditional lease.

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There is no denying that online shopping and changes in consumer spending habits have had a profound impact on brick-and-mortar shopping centers. Rapid advances in technology have changed how and where consumers shop, how they spend their money, and how they spend their time. The impact is evident to anyone who has visited a shopping mall in the last couple of years. For the past half-century, retail giants have been steadfast anchor tenants, driving foot traffic and sales at shopping centers. Amid the current so-called retail apocalypse, an unprecedented number of classic anchor tenants are now gating their big-box entrances and going dark. More than 20 retail chains have filed for bankruptcy in recent times, and others are liquidating, falling like dominoes.

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