Retailers Depend on GIS Technology

Retailers Depend on GIS Technology

GIS Technology has changed the retail outlets you shop.

By using GIS technology tailored to improve the efficacy and efficiency of operations, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Target, Wal-Mart and many other popular companies have entered marketplaces filled with demand and potential.

For example, the popular pet retailer PETCO started using the Esri Business Analyst solution for its site selection in 2006. The software combines GIS analysis and visualization with data to help, in real-time, businesses understand the market, customers and competition.

In an Esri case study, published by Integrated Solutions for Retailers, Shawn Hanna, director of PETCO’s financial analysis, said the company sought to improve the assessment process of the sales potential for new locations. The GIS technology gave a more scientific basis to the company’s process, Hanna said.

This is especially important, because opening a store requires a long-term real estate lease, construction and several other factors that make site selection an important financial decision.

That’s why the $11.8-billion real estate firm Forest City Enterprises uses GIS solutions to keep up with market analysis trends.

In fact, Esri built a solution specifically for Forest City. The technology combines Business Analyst Desktop with Business Analyst OnlineSM, a web-based reporting and mapping service. As part of the analysis process, Forest City Enterprises also uses Retail MarketPlace, which measures consumer spending, and Tapestry Segmentation, which provides a demographic and lifestyle profile of consumers.

This helps the company select properties that will maximize profits.

“Having the ability to convince retailers of a market’s value and how they will enhance that value is one of the greatest impacts we have seen from using Esri products and services,” said Diana Parsons, research and design administrator at Forest City Enterprises, in a press release. “We can use Business Analyst to shade key demographic variables, such as income or the number of households on thematic maps, to highlight a proposed area for a potential retailer.”

Retail GIS Jobs

This retail GIS technology demand equals employment opportunity for American Sentinel University students working on an online associate’s or bachelor’s GIS degree. Here are just a few retail-related jobs looking for GIS candidates.

  • The Columbus, Ohio, branch of JPMorgan Chase is seeking a GIS Specialist for Retail Planning. The bank wants a GIS professional who can help the Retail Financial Services division make better retail real estate loans.
  • Walgreens is looking for a Senior Project Manager, Healthcare Planning and Research, who has advanced GIS technical skills. The drug store chain wants to create interactive searches, analyze spatial information, edit data, maps and present results of these operations.
  • AutoZone seeks a new Senior Research Analyst to conduct spatial analysis and modeling, perform analog and competitive analysis.
  • DICK’s Sporting Goods is searching for an Associate Market Research Analyst who can use GIS technology to help sales forecasting and market planning.

These positions were just posted to job sites within the past month. Just imagine how this sector will continue to grow as competition grows and retailers look to expand.