Thursday, 7 July 2005

Why All High Streets Look The Same

The actual title of the linked to article is The New Science of Siting Stores. But it's a bit science light as far as I can see. The most disappointing thing is that it looks like it might tell you why you'll get one Starbucks near another, but then abruptly stops:
Ever wonder why sometimes you see two Starbucks coffee shops located within the same block -- or right across the street from each other? It's not by chance. Site selection has been fine-tuned to a digital art. A retailer can now closely analyze all of the sales information that it has to understand the lifestyles and preferences of its customers. Then, companies can combine that info with mapping and demographic software to decide whether it's worthwhile to open a store at a given location.

Although the suggestion is that Starbuck patrons are so lazy they wouldn't cross the street to get to one.

Along with the science, it seems a whole lot of common sense is being dressed up as insight:
Restaurant chain Hooters uses similar software that spots sports and entertainment venues nearby when it's scouting for locations. But Hooters also looks for such cues such as available locations on the side of busy streets, the better to snag customers from evening rush-hour traffic. "We get a lot of visitors from men heading home from work," says Mike Locey, Hooters' vice-president for strategic development.

Which, if I understand it correctly, is saying, in essence, that, at the end of a hard days work, men like to look at titty. Who knew?

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