MATTHEWS, N.C. — Family Dollar here, which operates more than 7,600 stores, announced that the company has improved its site-selection process since deploying a market knowledge system for retail real estate last September.
With the system — called TAS Unity, from Trade Area Systems (TAS), Attleboro, Mass. — Family Dollar has reduced site evaluations times by 67% while improving visibility for its real estate management team.
Family Dollar has deployed the technology using TAS Mobile, a tablet-based system running on the iPad that is designed to access and update data in the field, and TAS Online, a browser-based mapping and demographics information system.
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The chain previously used an array of geographic information system tools that had limits in terms of data accuracy and latency. The company also lacked a single source of data and didn’t have visibility from one user to another.
“Our approach to market analysis going forward is to get the information out to the field decision makers,” said Brian Strickland, divisional vice president of portfolio management at Family Dollar, in a statement. “There were many holes in our existing system. For example, a real estate manager working on a store relocation did not have visibility to a real estate manager who may be siting a new store in the same area."
Family Dollar will be working with TAS to leverage the tool in other areas of the company including marketing, pricing and store operations. “We are currently in the process of creating a way to increase the knowledge of our preferred developers and brokers utilizing TAS,” said Strickland. “This was one of those developments we didn’t see coming — the users are finding tremendous value from the system and they want our real estate partners to have access to the same information.”
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