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Thread: Should I be a location analyst?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
    May 2005
    Blog entries

    Should I be a location analyst?

    Location analyzer...a career I've only recently heard about through college and stuff. I used to spend hours and hours searching websites and writing down every Best Buy, Home Depot, Petsmart in the country and figuring out where they should build new stores.. In retailer newspaper flyers, I always skip to the location page, and see if any new ones have opened yet or how they compare to a different store. I've also done research using county populations and a Road Atlas in trying to develop a national location list if I were to open my own big-box store. Do any of you know of this career and what it entails and if it may be a viable option for me?? Or is it too "dark side."
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  2. #2
    Cyburbian ICT/316's avatar
    May 2005
    Kansas (Lurking)
    I would love to do that.I'm always saying "They're going to build a .....there". I've never been wrong. So analyize Bath, Maine for me on my other post! Perfect!
    Last edited by ICT/316; 09 Jul 2005 at 12:31 AM.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State
    I did this work for one of the larger chains (2000+ stores) in the early 1990's. I got the job because of some of my earlier graduate school work, developing methodologies to site new stores with GIS. It turned out to be a bad job, mainly because of the corporate culture and some of the personalities in the department that feared/resented any change in the way the work was done. I found it pretty formulaic, using outdated technology and a fill-in-the-blanks report for each site. Not everyone is that bad, though.

    The work is closely associated with real eastate and development. In fact, many companies have their real estate department doing this work. A license and experience in commercial brokerage (or leasing!) can help you. Definitely join the International Council of Shopping Centers, www.icsc.org, and attend the Leasing Mall in Las Vegas next year. About 50,000 retail professionals will be there. The exhibitors include developers, agents, suppliers, and retailers. You can learn a great deal about the industry from attending. Also subscribe to Plain Vanilla Shell, a free weekly digest of retail stories from around the country.

    You might think about retail location from another perspective. Traditional economic developers are just beginning to pay it any attention, but Main Street programs are usually looking for a person to bring in new stores. There are jobs at the local level as well as in state organizations. Some cities have extensive retail programs, which combine economic development (tax increment districts, BIDs, redevelopment, etc.) with planning to build the community's retail base. The best of these, by far, is Retail Chicago.
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