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Andy Newing, Nick Hood and Iain Sterland

Planning support system (PSS) tools are widely applied to support location-based decision-making within the highly competitive and rapidly evolving retail sector. Drawing on examples from the UK grocery sector, we demonstrate the range of PSS tools used for new-store site selection, impact assessment and revenue prediction. We highlight a suite of real-world applications and state-of-the-art industry practice, drawing on collaboration between academia and industry. These topical case studies demonstrate the need for continual innovation in PSS tools to drive growth in store portfolios, expansion of online channels and the evaluation of network optimisation opportunities. We also consider the need for ongoing investment in new PSS which can capitalise on the increasingly large volumes of near real-time consumer data that are available to retailers. We report on ongoing academic research to build retail models at the individual level and reflect on the growing importance of data science in retail location planning.