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The New Frontier in Retail: Harnessing Location Intelligence for Strategic Store Placements

In the dynamic landscape of retail, location intelligence is emerging as a game-changer for businesses keen on expanding their physical footprint. As Untuckit, a men's apparel brand, deliberated on opening a new outlet on Long Island, they turned to an unexpected ally: cellphone data. This advanced analytics revealed distinct customer bases for their potential and existing stores, dispelling fears of market cannibalization and propelling them towards opening a new store at Walt Whitman Shops.

This approach is not isolated. In 2023, the retail sector saw more store openings than closures, a trend bolstered by the detailed insights provided by modern location analytics. Retailers are increasingly relying on cellphone data, which sheds light on shopper behaviors and patterns, enhancing the precision of site selection for new stores.

The utility of this data extends beyond understanding foot traffic. Retailers are integrating insights from customer addresses, online shopping trends, and loyalty programs to create a multidimensional view of their market. This depth of information is a significant leap from traditional methods, which often involved manual counts of foot traffic or reliance on broad census data.

For instance, companies like Warby Parker and Allbirds analyzed customer orders and shipping information to identify optimal locations for their inaugural physical stores. Today, the fusion of such e-commerce data with real-time foot traffic insights is setting a new standard in retail site selection.

Madison Reed, a hair color brand that transitioned from online to brick-and-mortar, exemplifies this trend. By blending its customer insights with data from, a provider of mobile analytics, Madison Reed has been able to uncover and evaluate potential salon locations with unprecedented accuracy.

Yet, despite the technological advances, the human element remains vital. Amy Errett, Madison Reed's founder, emphasizes the importance of personal observation in the final decision-making process, affirming that data is a tool, not a substitute for on-ground retail instincts.

As we move forward, the role of technology in retail expansion is set to deepen. With advancements in machine learning and AI, analytics firms like RetailStat are gearing up to refine their predictive capabilities, promising even greater precision in determining the success potential of new retail locations.

This evolving landscape suggests a future where retail decisions are increasingly data-driven, marrying the richness of real-time analytics with the timeless value of human judgment. As the retail industry continues to navigate its path forward, the integration of location intelligence is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping its trajectory, ensuring that businesses not only survive but thrive in their chosen locales.


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