Jonathan Reynolds

By Jonathan Reynolds

Location thinking: 29 not out

There’s been one fixture on the Institute’s events calendar since it was founded in 1985: the annual Retail Location Analysis executive education workshop. The 29th programme took place in late April this year. We have always tried to offer a deliberately small format in which participants interact closely with speakers and each other, and share experiences and ideas…the opposite of the usual one-day “sales” and data-oriented events. I have directed the workshop for the past 10 years, with Dr David Rogers, from DSR Marketing.

“Fantastic experience. Great in-depth learning from presentations and interactions with fellow students.” (Marketing Manager, food retailer)

Over the past few years, the programme has become more and more international. This year’s participants were drawn from eight different countries: China, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Saudia Arabia, U.K., and the USA. Over three days, we covered an enormous variety of topics, and heard invited practitioner speakers from Land Securities, Sainsbury’s and Piper Private Equity. I’m indebted to David Rogers for a summary of his highlights from the course:

  1. The extensive research carried out by Land Securities in planning for the refresh and expansion of the Buchanan Galleries shopping centre in Glasgow, Scotland and their plans for the upmarket redevelopment of the Westgate in Oxford.
  2. Sainsbury’s approach to retail investment decision-making in the UK.
  3. Within the present context of network optimisation: when to re-invest or close? A practical case study.
  4. How to use research on online sales to select locations for complementary “bricks and mortar” stores (answer: “with considerable care”!).
  5. How the UK version of the gravity model (which differs from the North American version) is being applied to support business decision-making.

This year, for the first time, we were able to welcome two academic participants, from the University of Cambridge and the Turku School of Economics at the University of Turku, courtesy of bursaries from the ESRC’s Consumer Data Research Centre, of which the Institute is a founding member. We are very grateful for their support.


You can get a flavour of the sessions on the 2015 programme below. If you’re interested in hearing about details for next year’s programme, contact Claudia Seiler ( at the Institute.

Click here to view Retail 2030: New Challenges for Location Analysis, by Jonathan Reynolds.

Click here to view Developments in Spatial Data Visualisation, by Professor Alex Singleton, University of Liverpool.

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