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Retail Location Planning A Strategic Imperative for the 21st Century Retailer

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Within the process of providing a given good or service to the consumer, it is necessary for the service or product provider to determine how they will integrate and provide the service/product to the end consumer. Delineation of the product and an effective strategy of advertisement is in and of itself an incomplete business model. Accordingly, determining a location and a means through which the commerce of business will physically take place, is a determinant reality of how such decisions have changed over the years. As a function of such a level of understanding, the following analysis will seek to trace some of the ways in which location selection is currently defined and the means through which theory and applicable history can be used as a means of differentiating and defining the decisions that help to formulate this process. It is the hope of this author that such a level of discussion will facilitate a further understanding with regards to the ever-evolving nature of location decision-making and the necessity of any business entity/firm that engages in it to be receptive to the realities of the community, demographic, and/or changing technological demands of the world around. From a review of the literature, it can be definitively stated that one of the historical models through which site selection and the business location was delineated was something of a “one size fits all” approach. This is a one-dimensional approach was ultimately proven to be ineffective. One need look no further than the litany of different department stores, shuttered around the region, to come to an understanding that an effective level of site and location analysis/research was not performed prior to investing money in expanding to a given location. Ultimately, shifts in the market can also be responsible for changes in the business climate. however, most of these shifts in the business environment take a rather long period of time to be manifested in the actual bottom line of a given entity (Weber Chapman, 2011). Comparatively, a failure to effectively engage and analyze the trends, and nuanced demographics that exist within a given region, and retroactively compare this to the specific product offering or service offering that the firm/business entity is able to provide, is one of the reasons for why so many of these entities around the globe have closed offices dotting the landscape. A time of economic access allowed these entities to be liberal with regards to the number of funding allocations for new branches. Another factor that must be realized to have a powerful impact with regards to the way in which site selection and location of business enterprise is affected is with regards to the means through which technology has been shifting the determinants of what is provided to whom and when. One need look no further than the way in which firms such as eBay and Amazon have completely and utterly redefined the retail market that you realize that the prior model of site location is ultimately no longer useful (Torres-Soto Uster, 2011). Instead, understanding the realities of the way in which technology is constantly shifting is one of the first and foremost methods of selecting a suitable location.