anchor store
n. A major retailer in a shopping mall, particularly one that attracts many customers to the mall.

Example Citations:
But others, particularly the community's business and political leaders, said such visions are both unrealistic and counterproductive to any revitalization effort. Barbara Askins, executive director for the 125th Street Business Improvement District, said that without 'anchor stores' like the Gap and Home Depot, Harlem residents would 'go downtown or to New Jersey.'
—Dan Barry and Jonathan P. Hicks, "With Harlem at a Crossroad, Visions for Economic Future Diverge," The New York Times, December 24, 1995

Without major anchor stores, the malls in Methuen and Chelmsford struggle to attract customers with smaller stores offering specialty items, but it‘s becoming a hard sell.
—Andy Dabilis, “ Retail malls empty of customers, businesses,” The Boston Globe, July 14, 1996

Earliest Citation:
An urban renewal program is being planned for the declining Front Street area. Efforts are under way to obtain for it a major "anchor" store, such as the Abraham & Straus establishment in the newer Fulton Avenue Section."
—Clarence Dean, "Main Street Making Comeback In Duel With Shopping Centers," The New York Times, May 31, 1962

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