Where to Get Business and Store Location Data + Why You Should Use It

A street address is just one piece of location data for a business. Unfortunately, street addresses don’t tell you much about the business besides how to get there or where to send them mail. If you’re in private equity, banking, insurance, real estate, or retail, comprehensive business location data can tell you so much more.

You can learn which businesses and brands are hot (or not) in a certain area, where their customers come from (and their demographics), where the prime spots to live or set up shop are, how at-risk a store is for an accident or weather-related damage, and more.

As useful as these insights sound, you first need to know where to get the data for analysis. You can collect it yourself manually or through publicly-available information, but that will usually take up too much of your company’s time, money, and effort. We’ll point you towards some places to get usable geospatial data on stores and other businesses quickly, as part of our agenda:

  • What is store location data?
  • Types of store location data
  • 6 benefits of using store location data
  • Where to get business & store location data

We’ll start by explaining what “location data” on stores and businesses encompasses.

What is store location data?

Business and store location data is a type of “point of interest” (POI) data. This refers to data on non-residential buildings or other locations that people may want to visit. At its most basic, this includes geographic location, but can also include other attributes as well.

Specifically, retail store location data likely includes attributes such as hours of operation, categories (and brands) of products sold, services provided, and average pricing compared to nearby businesses in similar industries. Food-oriented stores, including restaurants, may also have data on the specific types of foods they sell or serve.

Information on stores and businesses can also include other types of data from the geospatial ecosystem, as we’ll explain in the next section.

Also, keep in mind that geospatial information regarding stores and businesses can be very dynamic. Businesses may change their pricing, inventory, or operating hours every so often. Stores may also change locations or close down depending on where the overall business sees market opportunities.

That means it’s important to get location data that’s relatively fresh, to make sure the information you have on specific stores and businesses is accurate. This is why SafeGraph’s Places data is updated monthly, to account for changes like these.

Types of data you can join to store location data for deeper insights

Information about store and business locations can be broken down into several different categories. Here are some ways store location data providers may represent the information they have on businesses.

  • Point of Interest: General location and descriptive information about non-residential buildings and other landmarks. Helpful for conducting retail trade area analysis and site selection based on businesses (including potential competitors) in an area.
  • Property: Polygon modeling of a building’s shape and footprint, which sometimes includes units within buildings. Useful for visit attribution (i.e. determining how many people actually set foot inside a store) and for insurance risk assessments.
  • Mobility: Measures foot traffic around stores and other POIs. Mainly used by businesses to inform their site selection and inventory selection, as well as where to place advertisements.
  • Demographics: Population counts segmented by various attributes (age, gender, income, lifestyle, etc.). Gives businesses a general idea of what types of people frequent their stores.
  • Address: Location as provided by geographic coordinates or postal information. Useful for helping customers find businesses relative to street data and their own location.
  • Environment: Local weather conditions and natural phenomena. Can be useful for site selection and risk assessment based on vulnerability to fires, floods, storms, earthquakes, etc.
  • Imagery: Photographic depictions of a place. Can be used to help a store’s customers pick out the store from its surroundings, or for a business to showcase some of its products.

6 benefits of using store location data

So what’s the use in having retail location data? What can you do with it? Quite a few things, as it turns out. Geospatial data for stores and businesses have applications in sectors ranging from retail itself to the likes of insurance, real estate, and financial services.

Here are a few ways companies in these industries can use location data for businesses and stores.

  • Conduct comprehensive trade area analysis: See what types of businesses are flourishing or have an opportunity in a geographic area based on what shops are already there.
  • Improve site selection & deselection: Place stores and advertisements in areas where you’re bound to attract lots of customers, and move away from places where there’s too much competition.
  • Help people settle closer to things they need: Use metrics like grocery store location data to spot real estate opportunities, so people can settle down where important services are easily accessible for them.
  • Assess insurance liability: Where a store is and how many people typically visit it can indicate how vulnerable it is to damage or accidents that insurance may need to cover.
  • Build customer demographic profiles: Get a sense of who your customers are and what their lifestyles are like to adjust your operations and product/service offerings accordingly.
  • Show off your store and what it offers: Give customers a visual reference for what your space looks like so they can find it easily, and show off your services or products in action to entice them.

Where to get business & store location data

Business location data management is difficult to do on your own. It requires a lot of manual research and/or setting up systems to monitor any changes in information. Instead of reinventing the wheel, it’s much easier to purchase your data from companies like SafeGraph that specialize in location data collection. This allows you to get the data that’s most relevant to you (whether in type or attributes), and your supplier will often do most of the work in keeping you updated if something changes.

Here are some top providers.

1. SafeGraph

Cost: Contact for pricing

SafeGraph has comprehensive data on millions of businesses, stores, and other points of interest across the world through our Places dataset. We also provide accurate footprints for these places through our Geometry dataset.

This combination of datasets is great for mapping, visit attribution, and more.

2. CAP Locations

Cost: contact for pricing

CAP Locations specializes in location data for malls and other shopping centers - over 40,000 across the US and Canada, in fact. They also have data on how many people visit these places per hour, what general neighborhoods they come from, and even what shops inside the mall they visit. They’ve even expanded the analysis range for almost half of the shopping centers they cover to create comprehensive trade areas for broader study. Finally, they provide POI data on over 1.2 million retail stores and restaurants, including persistent unique IDs, store categories, ownership hierarchies, and more.

3. SMR Research

Cost: $4/report

One of SMR’s product offerings is their Enhanced Commercial Property Database, which goes the extra mile to provide attribute information for stores that public records may not have. These attributes include building tenants (not just the owners), approximate square footage, owner contact information, what the property is specifically used for, its approximate value, and its specific POI name. They also provide links to images on GIS platforms, grouping for real estate parcels that are part of the same property (e.g. apartments, stores in malls, offices in business complexes), insurance and credit risk models, and more.

4. CRED iQ

Cost: $300-$400/user/month; free option available

Beyond basic property data, CRED iQ provides advanced financial data on stores and businesses in the US. That includes details on if a property is being financed by a loan, and the full terms of that loan. Their higher-tier services also provide data on tenants who are leasing properties and when those leases expire, financial summaries of tenants, approximate valuations of properties, contact information for property owners, and more. It’s all useful information for commercial investors, banks assessing credit risk, or those looking to lease their properties.

Why worry about how to collect location data, much less how to organize it into a useful form, when companies like SafeGraph already do most of the heavy lifting for you? Visit SafeGraph to sample the kinds of data that can boost your business’s analytics and decision-making.


If you need to learn more about location data, check out our detailed guide on the types of data and where to buy them.