Geography, Real Estate, and Merchandising: Assessing and Extending the Application of GIS Technologies in the Retail Sector

Authors: Murray Rice*, University of North Texas, Judith Forney, University of North Texas, Dee Knight, University of North Texas, Linda Mihalick, University of North Texas
Topics: Business Geography, Applied Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Business GIS, retail, merchandising, real estate, applied geography
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Stones Throw 3 - Mica, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Geographic analysis and retail business have had a close and fruitful partnership for many decades. A major pillar of this relationship has been the clear and compelling link between geography and the crucial real estate dimension of retail planning. However, store and distribution network location decisions are not the only aspects of retail that have a deep and abiding link to space and place. Merchandising decisions, encompassing the crucial process of efficiently connecting products with markets, are also inherently geographic in nature. We argue that merchandising is a greatly underappreciated application venue for geographic teaching and research, and that the rapid evolution now ongoing in retail driven by e-commerce provides researchers in retail geography and digital merchandising with an unprecedented opportunity to positively influence the development of one of the largest and most dynamic sectors in the global economy. This paper explores the distinctive perspectives that geography and merchandising research have on the foundational supply chain idea and calls for the development of a new, geographically-aware retail research paradigm.

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