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What does a Cholera epidemic teach us about the importance of retail mapping?

In the 19th century, London suffered a series of outbreaks of Cholera . At the time, no one really understood what was causing Cholera. Until 1854. A bright doctor, John Snow, started plotting Cholera cases in the city map of London. This map resulted in some important insights. It became evident that there were great differences in number of outbreaks between areas that were relatively close to each other. One of the most significant sources of infection was located near a single water pump. Thus, Snow concluded that Cholera is spread by contaminated water. That insight was new and groundbreaking. Shutting off that water pump instantly curbed Cholera in that neighborhood.

Textbook example of insight through mapping

John Snow’s research is still considered a textbook example of the insights that the combination of data and maps can provide. Nowadays, it is impossible to imagine our daily lives without maps: who could live without navigation in their car or Google Maps?

Help with location strategy

At Locatus we help our clients define their location strategy. Naturally we use retail data and analyses to do so. But above all, it is about physical locations, and these cannot be summarized in tables and graphs alone. You get the most insight from the retail plans.

A table may show you that the vacancy rate is x% in a particular town. But what does this actually say? Is the vacancy spread out or concentrated in a certain part? In the latter case, the risk of contagion is much greater.

You can now see where and how big the properties are, whether it’s about friction vacancy or long-term vacancy, whether it’s around your intended property etc.

Health of shopping area

Vacancy is just one indicator that tells us something about the health of a shopping area. Our Retail Risk Index takes many more factors into account, and also provides much more insight. It estimates the likelihood an entrepreneur will stop at a certain location.

And you can map out much more with our Retail Plans:

  • What is the industry distribution like?
  • Where are my competitors?
  • What is the distribution of the footfall?
  • Where are my favorite neighboring stores?

Without a map you have no overview, and thus it is difficult to determine your direction. That is why Locatus also maps out all the data in Locatus Online.

Can you use some help determining your direction? We are happy to help.

Locatus Retail Plans

With the digital retail plans of Locatus, you will have a detailed overview of any shopping area or street you like - at your fingertips. This efficient tool can help you when making decisions on the development of shopping centres, renting and leasing, buying and selling, taxations, and monitoring your shopping centre.

Gertjan Slob

Gertjan Slob is the Director of Research at Locatus. He is responsible for the entire data course. During his work, he is constantly analysing data, and frequently flags interesting trends and developments.