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The use of geographical data and information in retail locational planning

Byrom, John and Bennison, David J. and Hernández, Tony and Hooper, Paul (2001) The use of geographical data and information in retail locational planning. Journal of targeting measurement and analysis for marketing, 9 (3). pp. 219-229. ISSN 0967-3237

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As the supply of suitable sites for retail development in the UK becomes ever more rare, location analysts are increasingly recognising the need to become more innovative in terms of their locational strategies. Although the role of intuition in locational decision making is still an important one, the advent of new methods and technologies, including neural networks and geographical information systems (GIS) are increasingly impinging on existing locational practices. It becomes clear that if new methods for locational planning are to make a return on the large investments that have been employed in them, detailed knowledge and innovative use of data and information is required. A significant element of these data and information is the geographical one, given that almost all data can be classed as 'geographical', that is 'they contain a reference to an address on the surface of the Earth'. Manipulation and awareness of the geographical nature of data can hold many benefits for locational decision making, beyond the basic mapping of store locations. This paper presents the results of a large-scale postal survey carried out among retail locational decision makers in UK retailing. The survey audited the collection, use and applications of data and information. The use of geographic information (GI) was investigated and it was found that while locational decision makers were becoming more adept at using data and information, the geographical dimension was still somewhat latent.

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