During the past year, the Chain Store Advisors blog has covered a variety of topics under the broad rubric of real estate planning and site selection. Many of these ideas have been combined in a white paper released last month called “A New Approach to Best Practices in Real Estate Planning and Site Selection.” Sounds like a typical boring white paper title, but don’t be fooled! The “new approach to best practices” is really a rejection of the very idea of best practices in chain store real estate analytics.
There are best practices for simple tasks and information systems such as backing up your data or verifying the accuracy of your locations. However, for situations and systems that are complex such as the retail marketplace, it is impossible to create standardized methods and practices because the “cause and effect” relationships between things are too hard to predict and they are constantly changing. A phrase used by people in complex systems theory is “emergent practices,” which describes ways of approaching and solving problems based on recurring patterns in data and collaborative decision-making. Some of these approaches are described in the white paper. Continue reading
The 4 P’s of Marketing (Product, Price, Promotion, Place) have been around since the 1950’s. For chain store operators, PLACE is more critical than for other types of businesses.
A better term for PLACE is DISTRIBUTION, but of course it starts with “D,” so it never made it into the 4 P’s. DISTRIBUTION is a term used to describe what is commonly called “the supply chain” and the facilities involved in distribution are “the supply chain network.” These facilities include factories, distribution centers, and retail stores. Continue reading
Are you tired of hearing people use the phrase “location, location,location?” It is an insult to both the speaker and the listener. It’s like saying the most important thing in pro sports is winning, or that the most important outcome in investing is making money.
Now that we’ve survived another round of massive store closings and bankrupt retail and restaurant chains, let’s see if we can shed some light on the path forward for real estate planning and site selection.
I would argue that mistakes are made at three levels: market selection, market planning, and site selection. All three are critical to the success of a chain store real estate program and the types of mistakes that cause pain and death are different for each. Continue reading