Space Syntax’s evidence-based approach to retail development helps owners, investors and occupiers in two key areas: first, to understand the performance of existing retail operations and second, to enhance retail success through the careful design of spatial layout and product placement.

At the urban scale, we work with our clients to identify “location value” in terms of the potential for attracting trade at a particular location. We profile development portfolios and advise on the retail offer these will most likely support.

Inside shops and retail centres, we show how space can be designed to influence customer behaviour in terms of movement, product interaction and sales activity.

Client objectives

Return on investment
Business effectiveness
Speed of design & planning process
User wayfinding, comfort & convenience
Retail performance & revenue growth
Visitor satisfaction
Tenant satisfaction & retention
Organisational character & identity.


Pre-planning & design
Portfolio evaluation: buy/sell/keep/develop
Growth/downsizing strategy
Site evaluation & selection
Building evaluation & selection
Competitor analysis & precedent studies
Existing user behaviour analysis.

Planning & design
Critical review of development proposals
Masterplan design
Overall building layout design
Department layout design
Furniture/display layout design
User behaviour forecasting
User group profiling
Character & identity creation
Retail & catering strategy
Wayfinding & signage strategy
Planning support
Tenant negotiations.

Post-planning & design
User flow enhancement (signage & wayfinding)
Tenant lease/renewals negotiations
Performance benchmarking
Accommodating growth & downsizing.


Data collection surveys
Customer flow volume/density
Customer attitudes interviews/questionnaires
Customer purchase patterns
Visitor route choice/object engagement
Rental distribution.

Data analysis
Location accessibility analysis (public & private transport)
Building layout efficiency
Vertical movement efficiency
Object/display attraction
Departmental structure & location
Movement network capacity
Entrance/exit capacity
Sales density/rental distribution.

Impact simulation
Customer flow volume & density
Retail & catering effectiveness.