Challenges and Opportunities in Retail Location Analysis, 14th June, Oxford


Oxford’s annual 3-day residential programme on retail location & customer analysis takes a well-earned break this year. In its place, we invite you to join us for a free one-day, invitation only event in Oxford focusing on the Challenges and Opportunities facing retail location analysis and customer insight professionals.

Within the context of some of the most significant changes to be facing the retail sector in a generation, there is an urgent requirement for firms to better understand the ways in which the location, role and performance of their physical asset base are changing. Neither stores nor high streets are dead, but stores need investment, focus and creativity in order to make them attractive places to shop; and the places in which retail stores have been traditionally found require profound re-evaluation. This has implications for decision makers in retail enterprises, real estate as well as in local and central government. Our particular interest lies in understanding the implications for the location planner and customer insight specialist of these changes: how will the consumer connect in the future with the retailer’s various points of presence; how will firms monitor and optimise the performance of the existing network (which will continue to involve network rationalisation and selective disposals), how will integration be achieved with the enterprise’s non-store channels, and how will new skills, analytical techniques and strategic approaches for forecasting be acquired by firms, given often uncertain demand across channels?

Participants in the workshop will be drawn from analysts and managers amongst retail, finance and other consumer services, property and retail professional service firms, as well as leading academics and commentators, but the day will also rely heavily on the views and contributions of attendees. Speakers will include Dr Jonathan Reynolds (University of Oxford), Dr David Rogers (DSR Marketing Systems), Sarah Hitchcock (Geolytix), Steve Halsall (Red Tiger Consulting), Richard Cuthbertson (Oxford University), Les Dolega (University of Liverpool).

Come and help shape the debate!

The workshop will comprise a mixture of presentations and panel discussions, including:

  • Navigating the new retail landscape
    A contemporary diagnosis of the challenges facing the sector, drawing on Oxford’s most recent research, together with a perspective from the US
  • Evaluating a new classification of UK retail places
    Traditional retail spaces in the UK are transforming their functions and land use occupancy patterns. We test how this is affecting the diversity and economic health of individual town and city centres as well as entire networks of centres
  • New methods for retail location planning: scenario planning and retailing
    Most contemporary analytical techniques focus on forecasting. Such approaches have less relevance in uncertain times. This session examines, and allows participants to test, the potential of scenario planning for evaluating alternative futures.
  • 2025: the evolution of retail location planning
    This session will explore what location planning teams do and how the role of a location planner is likely to change over the next 5-10 years
  • In addition, we will be offering an optional opportunity at the end of the event, for those able to stay, to visit the new Westgate development in Oxford, where the management team has kindly agreed to host a guided tour.

    The workshop is running with the generous support of the Society for Location Analysis and the ESRC Consumer Data Research Centre.

    Interested? Hold the date and contact us today!

    This event will run from 10am to 4pm on 14 June 2018.

    Spaces are limited. If you are interested in participating in this event, please Register Here.

    If you have any questions please contact or

    More details will be posted to the RLA website events page and at