Service Tenants Now Outnumber Retail Tenants in the U.S.

The addition of these service-based tenants alongside more traditional retail tenants confirms that property owners are responding to changing consumer needs and preferences and adapting their real estate to serve a wider community.

Photo Courtesy of ICSC.

The number of service tenants grew by 109,975, or 10 percent, from 2012 to 2017.


To feed growing demand, the number of service-tenant establishments in the U.S. climbed by 20.5 percent between 2002 and 2017, according to ICSC Research.


Restaurants and drinking places have emerged as essential components of the shopping experience. Over those 15 years, the segment added on 155,684 establishments, a 30.9 percent increase from 2002, according to the U.S. Economic Census.


Photo Courtesy of ICSC.

Meanwhile, consumers’ need for convenience has fueled personal services and laundry, particularly in urban areas. The number of such establishments in the U.S. surged by 17.5 percent between 2002 and 2017, an increase of 35,130 units.




Restaurant & Drinking Places: UP 10% (from 2012-2017)

• Personal & Laundry Services: UP 11%

• Fitness & Recreational Sports Centers: UP 22%

• Amusement Arcades: UP 38%

• Wired & Wireless Telecommunication Carriers: UP 67%


Today, service tenants are being included not only in smaller shopping centers that have been traditionally convenience oriented, but also in regional and super-regional malls. Thus, across the whole spectrum of the industry, service establishments are growing and retail real estate has become a natural fit for these types of tenants.


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