A fresh look at retail store planning – Embracing the change

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‘Retail location planning as a strategy has changed forever. It has become more complicated and more multi-dimensional and now requires a broader and more flexible view on the required retail presence. Those who are evolving quickest will be able to engage best with a generation for whom convenience, flexibility and service are paramount. And ultimately those will be the ones positioned to best succeed in the retail landscape of the future.’ So states Feargal O’Neill in his recent article on multichannel location analysis and changes in store network design.

In today’s shifting retail landscape, the connection between bricks-and-mortar stores and e-commerce means that opportunities are bigger, but stakes are higher. As retailers chart their course in an Amazon-dominated world, insights from powerful analytic software and data may be crucial for survival. O’Neill urges retailers to think about how consumers’ changing demands – especially their insistence on convenience – determine the location and design requirements of physical store networks.

As O’Neill says, ‘Retailers first need to rethink their customer interaction requirements. How and where do they need to engage with them on their terms? What should each store or “point of engagement” look like?’

Retailers are continually looking to add context to their business decisions. Many are already using analytics to study customer behaviour both online and around the stores, to maximise the value of advertising and promotion, and to ensure that they are placing new stores in the best locations. But as more and more of the e-commerce giants are opening bricks-and-mortar stores, retailers need to be able to visualise and quantify shopping behaviour online and in-store – only then will they be able to design their stores to appeal to customers and to fit their specific needs in each location.

This interesting article on how to optimise a store network in today’s world of omnichannel retail was published in the most recent edition of Retail Times Q1 2018.

@ 2018 Gamma.ie by Monika Ghita

About Feargal O’Neill

Feargal O’Neill, chief executive officer, Gamma, has over 20 years’ experience in formulating and applying location intelligence strategies in the retail sector. As a location analytics and spatial modelling expert, Feargal helps retailers realise greater benefits from location-based information. Gamma’s Storecast™ platform assists retailers in optimising their store networks for the future.

About Storecast™

Gamma has launched a new cloud-hosted Store Network Optimisation Platform in Ireland and the UK. Storecast™ provides forecasting, monitoring and one-click reporting to support rightsizing omnichannel retail networks. It is powered by curated spatial market datasets including daytime population profiles and competitor locations. Contact us to arrange a demo!