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Imagination is more important than knowledge


Posted At: 20 March 2008 14:44 PM
Related Categories: Retail Property


Albert Einstein’s insight is surprisingly pertinent to retail property professionals who commission research projects.

The retail property market has various sources of information about shopping catchment profiles. Each producer, whether CACI, Experian, the National Survey of Local Shopping Patterns (NSLSP) or one of the others, will argue that his is the best system. Independent consultants, such as FSP, take the view that each system has its benefits and drawbacks, so the best one to use depends on the problem to be solved.

However, in numerous discussions with ex-CACI Directory of Retail Property Consulting, Ken Gunn, since he joined FSP, it has become clear that the differences between the information systems are far less important than their interpretation. The quality of a retail property consultant lies in the ability to understand the implications of the data, to correctly target the shopping centre and its tenant mix. This is a skill that combines both analytical ability and retail experience. Amongst the FSP consultants there is now a total of over 60 years experience of retail property consulting. This gives FSP an unrivalled depth of experience complemented by the ability to choose the best system for the task in hand.

Therefore, in commissioning retail property research, it is worth focusing on the experience and track record of the consultant who will interpret and apply the information. Of course the data underlying the analysis is important but even more important are the inferences and recommendations that flow from the work.

The full Einstein quotation is, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” FSP does not claim all this but is not afraid to use its imagination.

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The opinions expressed herein are the personal opinion of the author and are not intended as statements of fact and do not represent the view of SnapShop or Pragma in any way.


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