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Oxford Institute of Retail Management

Oxford Institute of Retail Management

Retail Location and Customer Analysis workshop

Retail Location and Customer Analysis workshop

This year's workshop is scheduled for 13 to 15 June 2018. Further details will follow.

What we offer

For over 30 years, the Oxford Institute of Retail Management has offered analysts, as well as managers with oversight of or day-to-day responsibility for planning and development, the opportunity to explore current thinking in retail location and customer analysis. Past participants in this workshop have been drawn from analysts and managers amongst retail, finance and other consumer services, property and retail professional service firms.

The 2017 residential workshop took place over three days in Oxford between 15 and 17 March 2017.

2017’s keynote speakers included:

  • Jillian Elder Director of Enterprise Location Intelligence, Walgreens Co.
  • Ben Dimson, Head of Retail Business Development, British Land
  • Tim Pickworth, Location Planning Manager, Marks & Spencer
  • Professor Alex Singleton, University of Liverpool
  • Dhiresh Bhardwa, Business Manager, International Location Strategy, CACI

For more details on topics and speakers in 2017, please visit the programme outline page

The need

There is a critical need amongst retail and consumer service firms to understand the ways in which the location, role and performance of their physical asset base are changing. At the 2016 World Retail Congress in Dubai, speakers talked about ‘changing the retail mindset’, highlighting the problems of building sustainable margins from store networks that no longer match consumer requirements, and the need for ‘transformational retail leadership’. The changing retail landscape is characterised by uncertainties affecting consumers, technologies and competition. But as speakers in Dubai concluded: 'the store is not dead. However, stores need investment, focus and creativity in order to make them attractive places to shop'.

This workshop seeks to address these issues head on. It recognises that the priorities for location analysis professionals, development and property directors will be: understanding the ways in which the consumer will connect in the future with the retailer’s various points of presence; monitoring and optimising the performance of the existing network (which will continue to involve network rationalisation and selective disposals), its integration with the enterprise’s non-store channels, and the acquisition of new skills, analytical techniques and strategic approaches for forecasting often uncertain demand across channels.

As the pace of innovation increases, analysts also need to consider the spatial implications of a wider variety of often innovative trading formats, including the impact of multichannel growth on the retail firm’s distribution and logistics capabilities.

The role of large data sets, new information sources and techniques continue to evolve. And greater accountability is required, under ever more rigorous financial control as margins are put under pressure. The 2017 workshop seeks to explore these issues in a highly interactive, practical and personalised way. For the second year, the programme is being offered as part of the training and capacity-building activities of our programme partner the Consumer Data Research Centre, an ESRC Data Initiative.

Our objectives

  • to provide a deliberately small-scale forum for discussion of issues in retail location and geographical customer analysis with acknowledged experts – both academics and practitioners
  • to get away from the large scale one-day conference format
  • to focus on the practical development needs of individual managers
  • to emphasise take-home ideas, tools and insights

This is a well tried and tested, deliberately small-scale approach which continually evolves to meet the changing needs of the sector. The programme encourages discussion with practitioners and other speakers. It facilitates conversations about the changing environment affecting locational decision making and promotes individual learning through techniques workshops and discussions between participants from different backgrounds. Participants will receive individual coaching from the programme directors.

Contact us

Download the RL&CA brochure 2017

Read full details of our Oxford Retail Location & Customer Analysis Programme 2017

Register your interest

If you would like to be considered for our next programme, please register your interest and we'll be in touch.


If you have any questions about the Retail Location & Customer Analysis workshop or applying contact Claudia Seiler, who will be happy to help.