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How GIS Data can be used to Track Consumer Behavior

How GIS Data can be used to Track Consumer Behavior

With stock and other financial markets reaching new highs and with unemployment at its lowest levels since the global recession of the last decade, the American consumer now has much more disposable income and spending power. One of the best places to spend this extra cash is at the mall, especially during these hot summer months. At the mall, one can find great bargains while enjoying a favorite dessert or ice cream.

To help further understand the mall shopping industry, Pitney Bowes recently formed a partnership with the Directory of Major Malls. Together, they launched a brand new, GIS focused whitepaper entitled, “A Unique View of the Shopping Center Landscape.” Geospatial and other related datasets were used to compile the study conducted in this whitepaper.

It was discovered that Las Vegas, NV, Phoenix, AZ, and Washington, DC, possessed the most saturated markets in the United States. On the flip side, the cities of Seattle, WA, Oklahoma City, OK, and Albuquerque, NM, were the least saturated markets in terms of mall creation and customer visits.

This study examined close to 5,000 shopping centers dispersed throughout the United States, covering a total land area of over 200,000 acres. The shopping centers examined also covered a total of 2.3 billion square feet.

Based upon the GIS datasets which were used, this study also discovered that:

  • The Las Vegas, NV, market possessed the newest shopping centers, and that Pittsburgh, PA, had the oldest shopping centers.
  • The Spartanburg, SC, market had the highest occupancy rates in terms of occupancy by shop owners, whereas the Providence, RI, market had the lowest occupancy rates by shop owners.
  • Overall, the New York, NY, Los Angeles, CA, and Washington, DC, markets are the most active in terms of launching new shopping malls.

According to Hal Hopson, the Managing Director of Applied Analytics at Pitney Bowes, “Businesses today are more aware than ever of the power of combining geospatial analysis and predictive modeling. Our partnership with Directory of Major Malls database helps provide retailers greater insight into the overall health and vibrancy of shopping centers within each market.” (SOURCE:

GeoTel is a telecommunications research and GIS mapping firm that researches and provides telecom datasets for more than 5,500 cities in the United States and worldwide. GeoTel’s expertise includes specialists in economic geography, geospatial engineering, web GIS, and telecommunications GIS Data infrastructure.

Valerie Stephen