When Monarch Alternative Capital acquired Shopko Optical in May 2019, it became critical for the real estate team to have a powerful, easy-to-use site selection and analysis platform that would help the company continue to grow after opening 80 standalone locations.
“We needed an analytics tool to help us with mapping, evaluating real estate, and assessing trade areas,” says Donna Capichano, chief development officer at Shopko Optical. “The tool we were using previously was expensive and produced inaccurate results. It was time for something better.”
Enter SiteSeer Professional
By fall 2019, Capichano and her team were researching multiple location analytics platforms, including SiteSeer Professional. “We had many people weighing in on the decision, and SiteSeer was the unanimous choice,” she says. What Capichano and the Shopko Optical team liked best about SiteSeer was the excellent customer service.
“They are ethical and helpful,” she says. “They have Artificial Intelligence capability but they’d never push it on a young company that isn’t ready for it or doesn’t need it. They are happy to manipulate the platform for our company, pulling in our analog models and creating reports and maps to be exactly how we want them for our own presentations.”
“In the beginning, we talked with someone at SiteSeer every week,” Capichano continues. “Tom, Danielle, and the rest of the SiteSeer team have always been quick to respond and help us with whatever we need, whether that’s adjusting our site scorecard or helping us parse demographic data in a different way. Sometimes I’ll pose a hypothetical question to describe what I’m looking for and they always come back with a solution.”
Easily Accessible at All Levels
Capichano adds that SiteSeer has become a trusted tool for her entire team as well as leadership at Shopko Optical. “I’ve worked with research departments where the executives don’t touch the analytics software,” she says. “It seems to me that SiteSeer has made the tool essentially bulletproof. It’s easy to use, so anyone can get what they need out of it without worry of disturbing anything.”
A Suite of Essential Tools
Shopko Optical relies on all features of the SiteSeer Pro platform, especially its site scorecards for every location considered for future expansion, maps, demographics reports.
"A tool like SiteSeer is not a crystal ball, but we find that it really assists us with processing information about locations and helps in our decision making."
Capichano adds that SiteSeer has helped reduce the amount of time it takes for her and others at Shopko Optical to evaluate new locations. “A tool like SiteSeer is not a crystal ball, but we find that it really assists us with processing information about locations and helps in our decision making.”
SiteSeer: Part of the Shopko Optical Growth Plan
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic disruptions, Shopko Optical opened 11 new stores in 2020, bringing its total portfolio to 92. The company has an aggressive growth plan for the next several years, with plans to open 58 stores in 2021, 75 stores in 2022, and 100 stores in 2023.
"Having SiteSeer makes things easier. We get up-to-date information and we can analyze it quickly.”
“Could we grow this way without a tool like SiteSeer?” asks Capichano. “It would be much more difficult, and we’d rely upon brokers and sift through paper for weeks on end for every market we were considering. Having SiteSeer makes things easier. We get up-to-date information and we can analyze it quickly.”
SiteSeer has impressed in every way, she adds. “We are a company that has always focused on customer service, and we recognize it when we see it in return. SiteSeer has great customer service. They’ve become part of the Shopko Optical team. And without a doubt, SiteSeer is an important part of our growth plan.”
Learn more about SiteSeer by contacting the SiteSeer team.