Meridian Capital Group

‘It Can’t Really Predict Things’: Post-Pandemic, Retailers Question Utility Of Data For Outpost Selection

April 07, 2022

After two years of operating during a pandemic, chain retail stores and eateries are finding that data collection has become a less reliable predictor of customer behavior — forcing retailers to readjust their balance between science and art as they determine what spaces to open and where.

Retail chains are used to collecting data such as foot traffic and sales volume around spaces they lease, helping them to build an understanding of how customers behave in their stores or restaurants. But the pandemic has changed the advantage that data previously offered retail tenants, experts say. While they can still understand which locations are doing well and for what kind of customer, they are less able to predict how customers may behave in the future.

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