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Five Popular Trends for Every Specialty Leasing Program


By: Barbara Hale, Director – Specialty Leasing & Advertising


CBL’s Specialty Leasing Program partners with global brands, local entrepreneurs, e-commerce brands, and retailers of all shapes and sizes. Our partners offer concepts that capitalize on current trends and complement our centers’ existing tenant mix. Our local leasing and advertising managers are always on the lookout for what unique, new concept is coming next.


Understanding that one of the joys of shopping is discovering something new is one of the key components allowing our specialty leasing programs to thrive. Here are five trends that we are seeing across our portfolio.


Sneaker Culture

Consumers aren't just wearing sneakers, they are collecting and trading them. Sneaker culture continues to thrive as the popularity of athleisure grows. Sneakers aren't just for the gym, they are a fashion statement for casual errands, in the workplace and even paired with dresses on formal occasions. The rise of sneaker culture has certainly made its mark in specialty leasing and is a must-have use in any shopping center.



Creating immersive and memorable experiences at our properties is an absolute must. Consumers are always looking for fun, new ways to spend time with friends and family. Concepts like selfie museums and kid’s spas are growing in popularity. These storefronts offer more than just shopping and inspire customers to come back time and again.


Sweet Treats

Whether for a quick bite while shopping, lunch on the go, or a sweet treat, mall food courts continue to be a popular destination. Popcorn, rolled ice cream, cookies and other delicacies have all been shopper favorites. New twists on traditional favorites are growing in popularity, from candy-covered grapes to over-the-top funnel cakes, and new flavors of cotton candy; these new food court staples are as Instagrammable as they are delicious. Offering your customers something new to tempt their taste buds will make for a much sweeter year.


Young Entrepreneurs

Young entrepreneurs with a passion for operating a business are changing the energy in the mall. By popping up in our malls, they learn valuable lessons about entrepreneurship and running a business while preparing for the future. From local girl scout troops selling cookies to community influencers, jewelry makers, and candle makers, these impressive young leaders are inspiring anyone with a passion who wants to start their own business.


Parking Lot Events

As more organizations and businesses look to host events outdoors, our mall parking lots are a great place. Our properties are community hubs, and our partnerships offer visitors the opportunity to provide invaluable support to non-profit organizations. It is so rewarding when our mall teams partner with organizations to host blood drives and food drives to meet the needs of our communities. Our parking lots have also played host to experiences like carnivals and unique retail pop-ups like the Hello Kitty Café. They also serve as retail opportunities for art, rug, and Halloween concepts. Mall parking lots are being converted to a variety of concepts to engage every type of consumer.


Have an idea for a business? Now is a great time to talk to a Local Leasing and Advertising Manager about opening your business in 2022. CBL’s Specialty Leasing Program offers short-term flexible leasing opportunities. If you are interested in learning more about CBL’s Specialty Leasing program, please visit and be sure to follow us on Instagram at @cblspecialtyleasing.

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