Asda is using Cities Revealed high-resolution aerial photography, published by The GeoInformation Group, as a site analysis tool in determining the viability of new store locations.
Asda acquires vertical aerial photography plots from The GeoInformation Group on a frequent basis as a prerequisite in their submission to the monthly meetings held with the Wal-Mart Real Estate Committee (REC). Purchased by Asda’s Property Department, the detailed Cities Revealed imagery provides the REC with an instant clear and concise snapshot of a proposed store location in the context of its surrounding environment – often negating the need for a site visit. The aerial photography and other supporting data about the proposed location helps Wal-Mart to make faster, more effective decisions about both the business and practical implications of opening a new Asda store at a specific site.
One such example includes the acquisition of 1:10 000 scale aerial photography of the City of Cambridge to gain a detailed visual of the proposed Cambridge store’s layout prior to approval. The photography helped planners and analysts determine whether the site complied with all their locational requirements before submitting their plans to the REC.
Cities Revealed imagery presented an accurate visual of the potential site that clearly identified its location in relation to its main competitors Sainsbury’s and the nearby site soon to be developed by Tesco. With the next nearest Asda store located in Peterborough, 27 miles away, the proposed Cambridge location offered Asda the only realistic chance of any representation in the City of Cambridge.
The level of detail that the photography offers helped Asda to identify and evaluate existing population distribution and density to determine the potential catchment area. It has also helped to reinforce any positive aspects of a potential site such as road and rail infrastructures that are essential for customer and delivery access and showed the actual distance to Cambridge centre. Potential problems to the site such as physical barriers to access including rivers were also easily identified.