In nowadays financial crisis, consumption reluctance concerning daily and durable expenditures will affect the retail markets and the shopping center industry in the near future. Thus, it is crucial for real estate developers and managers to understand the importance of the success factors of shopping centers in order to create premium customer traffic, higher than average sales productivity and rents as well as low vacancy rates. An ideal tenant mix in a shopping center creates a competitive advantage in this challenging market situation. This paper aims at analyzing the interdependencies between relevant external variables and their impact on competitive parameters of a shopping center. Moreover, a model is built to create the optimal tenant mix of a shopping center while taking into account variables like the local high street retail mix, demographic factors, consumer trends or purchasing power. The purpose of this model is to build an optimal tenant mix which differentiates the center from competing retail agglomerations, build customer loyalty and a reputation which attracts more desirable tenants. A review of previous literature, largely based on retail property specific papers, will provide a framework for the discussion and evaluation of different valuable impact factors. Recommendations will be made for the development and application of an optimal tenant mix and strategies adapted to competitive characteristics of a shopping center in order to improve its overall performance will be derived.