The way in which products and services are delivered to consumers, through branches and retail outlets, or more generally through a network of distribution channels, remains fundamentally important for maintaining a competitive advantage for a very wide range of businesses. This is true within domestic markets, but especially so for increasingly global corporations, as shareholder pressure for continued growth drives businesses into ever more widespread geographical markets.
Arguing that more complex markets demand more sophisticated spatial analysis, this book discusses the application of location planning techniques to generate competitive advantage in a variety of business sectors in a changing retail environment. The series of techniques are analysed, from relatively straightforward branch scorecards to sophisticated applications of geographical information systems (GIS), spatial modelling and mathematical optimisation. Also explored are the changing dynamics of the impact of more restrictive planning environments in many countries on how retailers find new locations for growth and respond to changing consumer needs and wants.
The book is essential reading for students and scholars alike working in geography, economics, business management, planning, finance and industry studies.