Business Location Research

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National Retail Expansion Strategy

A regional home furnishings retailer aspires to become a national chain. Corporate management is convinced their format will succeed outside of their core territory, but they remain cautious. The know poorly planned growth can saddle their company with under-performing locations for years to come and worry that rapid expansion will overwhelm their experienced but small real estate staff.

We devise a market potential classification matrix to prioritize individual metropolitan areas as expansion candidates. Based on our research, management targets ten high potential markets in the first year of expansion. We now examine the ten metro markets at a finer resolution to find the best places within each market for new stores. The client’s real estate department can visit these areas to find optimal sites. As expansion continues, GeoMarketing Research is occasionally asked to verify internal research regarding individual sites prior to procurement.

Client Benefits:

  • Management has a blueprint to guide their expansion plan.
  • The client’s bankers feel more comfortable financing an expansion plan based on objective, rational research.
  • The real estate department saves time and money by concentrating their site prospecting in high potential areas only.

Changing Conditions Impact Dealer Network

An automobile manufacturer has had a network of nearly twenty franchisees in a large metropolitan market for several decades. The manufacturer is so busy with the daily operations of the individual players in the network that they have not examined how the stores as a group serve the market today, after years of changes in the market’s demographic, transportation, and competitor patterns. Even if the corporate office had the time to execute a study, they are not sure how to do it, if they can justify buying the specialized resources for this unusual research, or if their results will have credibility with franchisees generally skeptical of corporate office research.

Three important findings emerge from our market study. First, natural growth has created new markets that currently have no representation. Second, transportation improvements have made it easier for some consumers to shop among several stores, and now some franchisees are cannibalizing each other’s sales. Third, some franchisees are in excellent locations. We recommend a retail configuration that maximizes benefits for both the manufacturer and the individual franchisees.

Client Benefits:

  • Their field staff has a market action plan to guide individual dealer location decisions (new locations, relocations, closures, facility upgrades, etc.).
  • Franchisees are more willing to cooperate with manufacturer’s market plans since they are based on objective third party research.
  • They avoid the expense of specialized labor, data, and software that will be used for a single study and never again.
  • Independent location research specialists deliver results much faster and with better quality than their internal market research group that rarely considers location questions.

Finding the Right Location for a Complex Customer Base

The market research department of an automotive parts retailer has found that their business serves two very different markets – professional auto service shops and the “do-it-yourselfer”. The client wants to apply this knowledge to their real estate strategy by finding locations that access both markets.

First, we analyze the client’s retail sales and find their “do-it-yourself” market has a discrete neighborhood profile as defined by income, occupation, and lifestyle characteristics. With this knowledge we screen metropolitan areas to find neighborhoods with high concentrations of the client’s best retail customers. Next, we use primary and published business location data sources to find clusters of auto service providers. We then intersect both data sets to find optimal locations accessible to both the retail and service shop markets.

Client Benefits:

  • Customer intelligence is translated into an actionable real estate strategy.
  • The real estate department saves time by having a set of location criteria to guide site prospecting.
  • Per-store sales average increases through the consistent selection of quality sites.

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