The Directory of Retail Shopping Districts has several proprietary features that are not available from other sources:
All records that comprise the Directory of Retail Shopping Districts are assigned to one of 500 industry categories. The foundation used for classifying businesses in this directory is the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), which is administered by the U.S. Census Bureau. The NAICS is used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy.
Non-government researchers who conduct analyses using NAICS codes occasionally find some category definitions to be too broad and others to be out-dated. To address these issues, the Directory of Retail Shopping Districts has created our own proprietary sub-categories for many NAICS codes. We refer to our enhanced industry classification scheme as "NAICS+". For example, the government-defined category "Full Service Restaurants" is divided into 38 additional sub-categories, with restaurants grouped according to theme and menu. Similarly, "Womens Clothing Stores" are broken down into 14 sub-categories, each reflecting distinct clothing types and styles.
The enhanced industry classifications still allow researchers to link directory information with government statistics, while at the same time providing retailers and developers a more accurate assessment of the competitive environment for each retail
The Fashion Synergy Index is a proprietary scoring tool that measures the overall fashion synergy of a retail shopping district. The Fashion Synergy Index reflects the combined quantity and quality of fashion retailers and other upscale businesses that are present in a retail shopping district. The index indicates the relative attractiveness of a district to upscale consumers, as well as to new prospective fashion-oriented businesses.
A higher index number means that the retail shopping district has strong fashion synergy, as evidenced by a large concentration of fashion-oriented businesses with an upscale consumer appeal. A lower index number indicates low fashion synergy, as evidenced by a predominance of businesses with mass or budget consumer appeal.
Every retail shopping district in this directory is assigned a Fashion Synergy Index. This allows the user to compare and rank the relative fashion strength of each district. The Fashion Synergy Index is an excellent tool for prioritizing new expansion markets for upscale retail chains.
The Shopping Walkability Score is a proprietary feature that measures the relative quality of the walking environment for shoppers in each retail shopping district. Evaluation of over 80 individual factors are reflected in the Shopping Walkability Score, including visual appeal, sidewalk obstructions, corner crossings, traffic noise, and safety/nuisance aspects. Unlike the Fashion Synergy Index, the Shopping Walkability Score measures only the outdoor walking experience for shoppers and is not influenced by the quality, quantity, or mix of stores and businesses. Districts are scored on a scale of 0 to 100 with 100 representing the ultimate walking experience. The Shopping Walkability Score focuses specifically on the walking experience of shoppers, as opposed to all pedestrians in general. Every retail shopping district in this directory is assigned a Shopping Walkability Score. Users of this directory are able to compare and rank the relative shopping walkability of each district. The Shopping Walkability Score is an additional factor to be considered by businesses that are looking for new locations in retail shopping districts.
The Directory of Retail Shopping Districts has identified over 200 upscale and other lifestyle-quality chains that currently operate all of their U.S. units in non-shopping center locations. These chains primarily consist of retail and restaurant businesses that, if present, would enhance the image of a lifestyle shopping center. Businesses that are part of non-shopping center chains are flagged in the directory database for quick identification by the user. This information is very valuable to developers that operate lifestyle centers and upscale malls as it provides an opportunity to attract fresh nameplates to their centers. Municipalities that are looking to improve the quality of their retail shopping districts can also use this list to identify and attract candidates that already have experience in operating street locations. It is possible that some of these chains prefer to operate all of their stores in non-shopping center locations, which gives municipalities a competitive edge in attracting these businesses.
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