Shopping Centers Today

NOV 2018

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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T H E C O M M O N A R E A T E C H N O L O GY A mong the biggest challenges in locating and monitoring gro- cery stores is nding reliable, up-to-date market analysis in the rst place. Planned Grocery, a new research platform, is providing shopping center landlords and grocery chains alike with data to help them make sound decisions. e web platform was devised by David Beitz, George Daigh and Todd Atkins, partners who operate Columbia, S.C.–based Beitz & Daigh Geographics. Beitz in par- ticular brings years of experience in the grocery-anchored shopping center business, having spent 14 of those years at Edens, where he managed the GIS (geographic-information systems) function and worked on location research and marketing. "Nobody has ever been able to look at the entire United States and see all the planned-to-proposed grocery store activity at one time," said Beitz. "is information is, in my experience, always collected on a market-by-market basis, put on a map THOUGHT FOR FOOD in a presentation and then is never really shared with the organization or updated again." Beitz says the platform enables cli- ents to view and track all the planned grocery retailer activity in the U.S., across the development cycle, from proposal to completion. "Every single dot that we add to the database is hand-placed aŒer someone has read a news article or a planning document or something that makes us put that point in there," said Beitz. "It is a great tool for market planning, and grocery retailers can also use it to monitor [the] competition around their existing stores, and their planned stores as well." Planned Grocery employs a search algorithm with Google alerts, generat- ing about 40 emails per day of informa- tion that is synthesized into a database and updated regularly. "We go through every point in the database at least four times a year to see if there is any new information on it — for example, to see when something has gone from [being] planned or under construction to [actually being] built." Recently, the rm began work- ing with aerial imagery and with a company that specializes in machine learning. "We are doing work with them to help get notications as to when a site starts construction or when it [has] opened and now has cars in the parking lot," said Beitz. About 50 companies are currently using the platform — grocery retail- ers, shopping center owners, invest- ment companies and hedge funds among them. Columbia Development, Just Fresh, Phillips Edison & Co., Slate Retail REIT, Wegmans and Whole Foods are some of these names. "A lot of municipalities are attracted to us because they want grocery stores to locate there," said Beitz. Aside from the app itself, Beitz says the rm can stream its data into other mapping platforms; some clients use the Planned Grocery data in Esri, Intalytics, SiteSeer and Tetrad. "We are excited to see where the product goes from here." Q Planned Grocery is giving grocery chains and shopping centers more data for monitoring their sites — and the competition By Ben Johnson 12 S C T / N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8 David Beitz, co-founder, Planned Grocery

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