Reynolds, Jonathan and Wood, Steve
Location decision-making in retail firms: evolution and challenge
International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 38, (11/12), . (doi:10.1108/09590551011085939).
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Purpose: the paper has three objectives: first, to reflect on the contribution of this journal to the study of retail location assessment and decision making; second, to use the results of a questionnaire survey of retailers to assess the employment of location assessment techniques a decade since a similar survey conducted by Hernández and Bennison; third, in the light of these results, to conclude what likely challenges the location planning profession will face over the next decade.
Design/methodology/approach: employs an online questionnaire survey of retailers across a range of sizes and sub-sectors.
Findings: specialist location planning teams within retailers are found to be small with established forecasting processes firmly established for new or relocated stores – indicative of less activity focused on the management of the existing portfolio or the identification of outlets within the network for rationalisation. The vast majority of site assessment techniques increased in use over the decade, reflecting a greater reliance on data and analysis to inform decision making alongside the traditional use of experience and intuition. Complementing highly technical evaluation techniques, the site visit is widely recognised as informing modelling and subsequent decision making.
Research limitations/implications: the survey sample is smaller and contains a greater proportion of larger businesses than that undertaken by Hernández and Bennison.
Originality/value: the paper underlines the changes in location planning sophistication a decade on from a landmark survey, suggests the implications of the observed changes and identifies likely developments in the profession
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