Moving into a new location or opening a new facility requires a lot of work. The physical aspect of the job is only one component. A significant amount of research must be completed as well. A truly successful initiative comes after careful planning, which requires an evaluation of relevant data.
An article in Forbes recently addressed the need for data evaluation prior to opening a new location. Ultimately, a retail store, restaurant, bar or any other organization in the customer service sector won’t succeed in a market with limited interest or opportunities. Although we live in a virtual era, the phrase “location, location, location” is still crucial to brick-and-mortars. Businesses can’t just expand anywhere. They must strategically select their new locations and position themselves to be successful.
Mark Cohen, professor of marketing in the retailing studies department of Columbia University’s business school, and former CEO of Bradlees and Sears Canada, understands this all too well. He spoke with Forbes about this:
“You can’t do business in a brick and mortar store without the presence of customers, and proximity to customers is as elemental to a brick-and-mortar store as air, food and water are to each of us as human beings,” he said. “Back in the day, Jack Kilmartin, CEO of [now defunct] Mervyns, drove the neighborhoods that surrounded the site of a potential store looking for validation that the Mervyns customer was as present as the researchers said they were. I doubt anyone does that today, but the need to accurately assess the market is as vital as it always was.”
Today, accuracy can be attained by effective data processing. A business intelligence system that can collect and report on relevant data will help organizations determine the potential of a new location. This understanding will go a long way toward ensuring the success of such an initiative.