SLA Undergraduate Awards 2015 – enter by Fri 31st July!

The Society for Location Analysis (SLA) is delighted to announce its inaugural Undergraduate Awards competition for 2015. These awards are designed to reward final year undergraduate students who have achieved excellence in the broad field of location analysis. The awards are open to final year students registered at UK Universities in the 2014/15 academic year and undertaking dissertations or extended projects involving location analysis. The society will award three levels of prize: Gold, Silver and Bronze to the top three entries as judged by an expert panel. These should make both academic and practical contributions to the field. The three winners will also be invited to attend an upcoming SLA event to meet members, network and deliver a short (informal) presentation of the winning research.

Students in any subject area are invited to apply providing that they meet the above criteria. Example subjects may include (but are not exclusive to) geography, demographics, GIS, business and management.

Entries are by application form only (downloadable on this page) and require all fields to be completed. Completed forms should be sent to Ruth Holroyd, SLA Secretary, at Info@thesla.org by no later than the closing date of Friday 31st July 2015, 5pm. Informal enquiries/questions can be directed to Dr. Luke Burns at L.P.Burns@leeds.ac.uk.

Students are invited to put forward their own application for this award.

We hope you will consider putting your location analysis work forward for consideration or promoting it to those who may be eligible and thank you for your interest in the society. Good luck!

Documents available for download:

  1. SLA Undergraduate Awards 2015 Application form
  2. The SLA Undergraduate Award Promotional Poster

Retail Research Masters Dissertation Competition 2015

If you’re interested in the SLA Undergraduate Awards you may also be interested in The Retail Research Masters Dissertation competition.

This offers an exciting opportunity to link students on Masters courses and their university supervisors with leading retail companies on projects which are important to the retail industry. The scheme provides the opportunity to work directly with an industrial partner and to link students’ research to important retail and ‘open data’ sources. The project titles are devised by retailers and are open to students from a wide range of disciplines. The research will take place over spring/summer 2015.

Please note: We have extended the deadline for entering until Friday 31st July.

Happy New Year 2015 from The Society for Location Analysis

The SLA's Jonathan Reynolds hands over the engraved Tankard to outgoing Chair Peter Sleight
Jonathan Reynolds hands over the engraved Tankard to outgoing Chair Peter Sleight
A very happy new year. I wanted to take this opportunity to write and introduce myself as the incoming Chair of the Society for Location Analysis, taking over from Peter Sleight who, as many of you will know, retired last year. I’d like to express my appreciation to Peter for his tremendous work for SLA; we were able to thank him in person late last year with a tankard which, I understand, he is already putting to good use!
Peter Sleight proudly showing off his long service tankard
Peter Sleight proudly showing off his long service tankard

Peter’s enthusiasm for the SLA since its inception and his tireless energy and wisdom (not to mention persuasive powers) in delivering a schedule of events and speakers for the Society over the years have been enormously impressive.

And it seems that you all agreed: last year, all our events scored over 90% good or very good for both relevance of subjects and quality of speakers.

So Peter has set the bar high for 2015!

2015 event schedule

Over the next few weeks, the society’s advisory group will be finalising the 2015 schedule. We’re already grateful to many of you for the suggestions you have made for activities and events you would like to see included. Amongst these will be some “All You Need to Know About…” sessions, a new public sector event, some more joint events with the SPR, as well as benefiting from the research undertaken by the new ESRC Consumer Data Research Centre http://cdrc.ac.uk.


We’ll also be running an award for the best undergraduate thesis on location analysis – to encourage the best students to think about careers in the sector.

Have your say

We’d like to hear from you about particular topics you would like us to cover as well as anyone who think they may be able to host a meeting. As you know, we are also reliant on the goodwill of some member organisations to provide venues in London and elsewhere. Please email me on jonathan.reynolds@sbs.ox.ac.uk, or any other member of the group, with your ideas or if you are able to help. Members include: Jack Streenstra jack.steenstra@zen.co.uk, Steve Scholey Steve@scholeyspace.fsnet.co.uk, Andy Metherell andymeth@hotmail.com and Anthony Hunt Antony.Hunt@co-operative.coop.

We need more members

We have over 350 members in the UK and internationally. But there’s always room for more: if there are new colleagues in your departments or units who you think would benefit from joining, then do let them know about the benefits of membership: https://thesla.org/about. Also, if you’ve moved – please let us know!

Job adverts

Ruth Holroyd remains our Administrator info@thesla.org and takes care of all our events, the website and job advertising service. The price of our job advertising service remains the same as it has been now for many years – and at £495 it’s very reasonable but still makes a significant contribution to covering some of our costs. Are you looking for staff? Do consider our vacancy service; other customers have had very good responses. To find out what companies who have used the service say visit: http://www.thesla..org/job-advert-testimonials/

Member benefits

We’re are also able to offer individual members 10% off the annual 3-day Retail Location Analysis course run at Oxford University, which this year is scheduled for 27-29 April 2015. More details here: http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/programmes/execed/rla

With all good wishes for 2015.

Kind regards

Jonathan Reynolds
The Society for Location Analysis

What are the Jon Walker Awards and why should I be interested?

It became apparent after last night’s SLA meeting that many of you don’t know what the Jon Walker Awards are all about. They’ve been running now for 4 years and this year will bring us our fifth winner but we need you, our members, to support the awards for them to continue. The award is really important to us at The Society of Location Analysis for a number of reasons.

Who was Jon Walker?

Firstly, remembering Jon. So who was Jon? I’m sure some of you will remember Jon but for those of you have joined recently or who didn’t meet him, Jon was a founding member of the SLA when the idea was created in a conversation with Christine Reeves (Tesco) and Mark Teale (CBRE) many years ago. He helped form its values and philosophy, and was an active participant at the SLA meetings and social gatherings. Sadly Jon Walker passed away on the evening of Monday 22nd March 2010 after 15 months fighting cancer. The awards are a way of remembering Jon in a positive way and celebrating all that was important to him – innovation in site location, clever use of data, software development and taking his ideas into different areas, but above all exploring, learning and enjoying location analysis. That’s the most important thing – he loved what he did. You can find out more about Jon and the awards here.

Reward your colleagues and peers

So far the award has been won by Claire Dickinson of GMAP, Jack Steensta ex Abbey/Santander, Blair Freebairn of GeoLytix and Martin Clarke from the University of Leeds. You can read more about the previous winners and why they won here.

We know there are some really clever people amongst our membership and we also know that some of you are doing innovative work. We want to celebrate that, reward people who are doing some really smart and inspirational work, as well as wanting to encourage others to try out new things, work with data and build programmes and projects that help us raise the profile of location analysis.

So, finally, if you can think of someone who you think deserves this award, please nominate them. But you’ve got to be quick!

We hope to announce the winner at the next event on 14th October, which is the SLA/SPR Forum, this year entitled Right Space/Right Place?

Invitations to this will be coming out shortly but please book your place in the usual way, email info@thesla.org

It should only take a few minutes to nominate someone. Get your thinking caps on and nominate today.
You’ve only got until the end of September.

We look forward to seeing some nominations.

SLA discount at The SPR Property Research Course, Cambridge, 27-28th Nov

… in conjunction with University of Cambridge

Property Research in the Real World: Practical Applications
Society of Property Researchers logo
A two-day residential course based at Madingley Hall, University of Cambridge, 27-28th November 2014.

Research plays a vital role in businesses involved in the global property market. Effective property researchers provide advice and analysis that informs investment decisions, impacting on the bottom line. This intensive, short course will equip you with the skills you need to take your career in property research to the next level.

Property Research in the Real World: Practical Applications has been designed to focus on applying research approaches to property, covering property data sources and definitions, applied exercises and where property research fits into different organisations and processes.

This course has a global scope, exploring investment and finance considerations relating to property.
The course is divided into three “modules”, delivered by leading industry and academic experts over two days. At the end of the course, you will participate in a practical team exercise to create a market strategy with the guidance of an industry team leader.

SLA Members are entitled to an introductory offer of 10% off the full course fee of £1,100 (valid until 7th November 2014).

For more information about this course and how to apply please see attached leaflet and visit www.ice.cam.ac.uk/property-research

Download the brochure here.

Retailers: Do you have projects now that Master’s students can help you to progress this spring & summer?

If you work for a UK retail company, this is an opportunity for you.

The ESRC’s “Retail Research & Data” initiative, which involved commercial companies proposing projects for Masters’ students, was a real success in both 2012 and 2013, and Professor Paul Longley & I are pleased to report that the ESRC has decided to support this initiative in the longer term.

We are therefore seeking proposals for new projects as soon as possible.

This presents a great opportunity to get a Master’s student to help you to make progress with:

  • Major current issues, such as multi-channel marketing and customer insight, store networks, transport, social media, and many others.
  • Projects that you’ve long had in mind, but not had the resource to carry out.
  • Working with data – both your own customer data, and also maximising the value to be obtained from government initiatives such as http://www.data.gov.uk/, and the arrival of more 2011 Census statistics (including Daytime and Workplace populations) for the whole UK.

If you have a project in mind, please email me ASAP (ideally by this Friday 31 January) at dugmore@demographic.co.uk and I’ll send you a Project Proposal Form.

It’s essential to move quickly on this, to publicise projects early and get the choice of the best students.

Our previous experience illustrates the main features of the initiative:

Retailers – here’s a website to help you to find free UK Open Data easily

The purpose of Retail Research Data (RRD) website is to enable insight and store location analysts working in retail organisations in the UK to get easy access to free datasets which may be of value to their businesses. It is funded as part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s commitment to retail research.

The website has links to 6 types of data:

  1. Small area geodemographic classifications – such as the preliminary 2011 Output Area Classification (OAC)
  2. Small area statistics – particularly from the 2011 Census, on many topics
  3. Lists of addresses, with postcodes, and places
  4. Postcode directories – for linking postcoded addresses (including customer records) to Output Areas and other geographical areas, or to grid references for mapping
  5. Map data – digital boundaries (such as Output Areas), and also background mapping
  6. Sample surveys – giving lots of detail about particular topics

RRD also includes a mapping facility to view the Classifications and Small Area Statistics for the United Kingdom and its constituent countries.

Here’s the link: http://www.retailresearchdata.com/

10% discount on the RLA training programme 2014 – last few places left

28th Retail Location Analysis programme – Oxford, 28-30th April 2014

We are delighted to let you know that this year, all members of the SLA are entitled to a 10% discount off the 28th Retail Location Analysis programme in Oxford from 28-30 April 2014 and there are still some places left.

This training programme is unique with a deliberately small-scale approach to encourage debate and we now have limited availability remaining.

Don’t miss out on this excellent offer as places are going fast.

We believe that our three-day residential programme is the only one of its kind. Our tried and tested, deliberately small-scale approach, encourages discussion with speakers and individual learning through techniques workshops. I will be running the programme in tandem with Dr David Rogers from DSR Marketing Systems in the US. Between us, we have over 50 years of experience in site location issues. Other contributions are made by visiting practitioners and experts. And for the fourth year running, we are delighted that location planning experts from CACI are supporting the programme.

Up-to-date course information is available on our website, where you can also download the programme brochure.

You can apply for the programme online or you can email my colleague, Joanne Evans for an application form or more details at joanne.evans@sbs.ox.ac.uk.

If you have already been in touch or are already booked to attend please accept our apologies and we wish you a very Happy New Year for 2014.

Best wishes

Jonathan Reynolds
Academic Director, Oxford Institute of Retail Management
Sad Business School
University of Oxford

T +44 (0)1865 288924 | M +44 (0)7921 603664
www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/oxirm | blog | @oxondon

August 2013 SLA Newsletter

Welcome to the August 2013 SLA Newsletter. We have had a very successful series of events so far this year in June and July so if you haven’t yet managed to attend there is still a packed programme to choose from:

  1. The Future of Convenience Retailing, Co-op Manchester, 3rd Sept 2013

    The Co-op will be hosting this event at their splendid new HQ at 1 Angel Square, M60 0AG. We have over 40 attending so far but there is still space if anyone still wishes to attend.
    This promises to be an excellent event; see https://thesla.org/2013/07/the-future-of-convenience-retailing-manchester-3rd-sep-2013/

  2. SLA Forum, CBRE Henrietta House, Friday 18th October (please note date change)

    We are still in the process of recruiting speakers; those confirmed to date are:

    • Bob Barr, Manchester Geomatics; Bob received rave reviews for his performance at the Royal Mail Pinpoint event last year. Bob will update us on Open Data, from his perspective on the ODUG committee.
    • Andy Hudson-Smith, CASA; Andy performed to great acclaim five years ago, when he regaled us with neogeography and second life; this time he’ll talk about Smart Cities.
    • Telefonica will update us on the progress of their ‘Smartsteps’ initiative, which they unveiled at last year’s Forum. This involves measuring footfall within catchments by presence of handsets in the vicinity.
  3. Public Sector Event, Birmingham City Council Offices, 12th November 2013

    An excellent programme has been put together for this event, entitled Service Delivery Planning for the Public Sector. The programme runs from 10.00 for 10.30, through to 3.00 close.
    For full programme, and to book, click https://thesla.org/2013/06/public-sector-event-12th-nov-2013/

  4. Jon Walker Award

    We need your help ! So far, we have very few nominations for the 2013 Jon Walker Award for Innovation in Location Analysis. Please think about people you know in the business who have done something innovative (could be software, data, project, model) in the last year. Details of how to nominate are https://thesla.org/jon-walker-award/

  5. Job advertising

    It’s the job advertising on our website which keeps the SLA running free of charge so a big thank you to those who have advertised with us. This year we’ve had 12 jobs advertised in total so far which is excellent and we know from regular feedback from clients and members that they work. If your company has a site location vacancy that needs filling get in touch. The price has remained unchanged now for some years and is a bargain at £495 for unlimited coverage, email to all members and inclusion on our LinkedIn page.

We are always interested in suggestions from SLA members – particularly for future possible topics or speakers. If you have anything to say, email us info@thesla.org
Best wishes,

Peter Sleight

Property Research in the Real World: Practical Applications

University of CambridgeThe Society of Property Researchers Committee and Fellows have put together a course focussed entirely on property research practical application which will be taking place on 28–29 November 2013.

As an SLA member you are entitled 25% off the standard course fee of £1,000 as an introductory launch offer, valid until 15 November 2013.

Madingley Hall Cambridge
28–29 Nov 2013

2-day residential training programme

Madingley Hall, Cambridge

Course fee:
£1,000 (for non-SPR members), £500 (for SPR members of 1 year or more),
25% off for SLA members.

Apply by:
15 November 2013


Research plays a key role in businesses involved in the global property market. Effective property researchers provide advice and analysis that informs investment decisions, impacting on the bottom line. This short course will equip you with the skills you need to take your career in property research to the next level.

The course takes place at Madingley Hall, a Grade 1 listed building three miles west of Cambridge. Fees include all teaching, meals and one night’s accommodation.

What will I be studying?

The course is divided into three modules:

1. What is property research?

  • Introduction to property research
  • The nature and evolution of property research
  • Where property research is applied and for whom
  • Framing research questions in a property context
  • The research and investment process

2. Applied research methods

  • Key metrics and variables tracked by property researchers
  • Property data sources
  • Global differences in data and definitions
  • Identifying key trends and market drivers
  • Introduction to valuation methods

3. Property investment and strategy

  • The strategy and research process
  • Portfolio construction
  • Use of debt finance in property investment
  • Available property investment conduits and their property research considerations
  • Benchmarking property performance

At the end of the course, you will participate in a practical team exercise to create a portfolio strategy with the guidance of an industry team leader.

A certificate of attendance will be given to participants who complete the course.

Entry and attendance requirements

The course is suitable for anyone with property research and/or industry experience.
All teaching will be in English, so you must feel confident that you are able to follow lectures and classes and take part in discussions in English.

Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is the Institute of Continuing Education’s secure online resource space. You’ll be able to download reading materials and find links to relevant external resources as well as keeping in touch with your fellow delegates.

Discount for SLA members

An introductory discount fee of 25% available to applicants who are members of the SLA. Please contact Fiona Trott at ftrott@sprweb.com for more information.

Find out more…

For more information about this course visit www.ice.cam.ac.uk/property-research.

Teaching staff

Professor Colin Lizieri (Course Director)
Colin is Grosvenor Professor of Real Estate Finance at the Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge. He has published extensively in the fields of real estate finance and office market dynamics. He is a member of the Investment Property Forum research committee, and has acted as an expert adviser and consultant to the European Union, the UK and Norwegian governments, the Corporation of London, the City of Toronto and numerous private sector organisations.

Dr Robin Goodchild
Robin is Head of LaSalle’s European Research and Strategy Team of nine people who are responsible for the strategy for over €10 billion of property assets. His principal function is to identify opportunities in European property markets and to formulate strategies for investors to exploit those opportunities. He is also responsible for developing new ways to analyse markets and managing portfolios.

Dr Paul McNamara OBE
Paul worked for Prudential Property Investment Managers Ltd (later PRUPIM) between 1987 and 2012, becoming Head of Property Research in 1990. While there, he was responsible for the overall direction of property research and was also a Board Director for a number of years. Since retiring from PRUPIM, Paul has established a small consultancy, Linden Parkside, providing advice to organisations such as the Investment Property Forum.

Professor Andrew Baum
Andrew Baum is a part-time professor at the University of Reading. He has worked as an expert witness in areas related to real estate economics and finance. His teaching and research interests are focused on property funds and international real estate investment.

Society of Property Researchers logo

About the Society of Property Researchers

The Society of Property Researchers (SPR) is a professional association for practising property researchers. It was set up to promote the knowledge and understanding of real estate research. It has a membership of over 500 individuals working in a variety of organisations, from surveying firms to independent research companies and academic institutions. The SPR is run by a committee of 20 industry experts, and serves as a catalyst in promoting industry-wide debates. See www.sprweb.com for details.

About the Institute of Continuing Education

The Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) provides opportunities for adult learners to study at the University of Cambridge on a part-time basis. As an academic department of the University, ICE is committed to the highest standards of excellence. Its diverse range of professional courses and qualifications are developed with guidance from leading Cambridge academics in collaboration with specialist industry bodies.

ICE is the oldest continuing education department in the country, and celebrates its 140th anniversary in 2013. It is based at Madingley Hall, a 16th-century country house on the outskirts of Cambridge, with state-of-the-art teaching space and accommodation for more than 80 students.