Howard L. Green, a visionary in retail real estate site selection, died Dec. 19. He was 83 years old.
Green developed his expertise in site selection in the flush years after World War II, when both chain stores and mall developers were in an expansion mode. He worked for Stop & Shop, Montgomery Ward and Ford Motor Co. before founding his own company in 1965. He ran Howard L. Green & Associates, which specialized in the location of retail chain stores, until the early Nineties.
“Howard was one of the early pioneers in research for both developers and retailers, which then allowed us to locate our shopping centers in the right place at the right time,” said Dennis Gershenson, president and chief executive officer of Ramco-Gershenson, a Detroit-area retail developer and early client. “He will be missed.”
Green’s focus wasn’t purely on business. With a Ph.D. from Harvard University in urban geography, he pioneered the use of statistical analysis to understand and predict retail store sales performance, which was then applied to the site selection process. According to his son, Sanford, Green always saw himself as a mentor and teacher.
“He was the bridge between academics and business,” said David Huntoon, director of client services for MapInfo and a former employee of Green’s. “He took ideas with merit and fleshed them out for the business world to make more efficient location decisions.”
Green served in the Air Force during World War II and was a frequent contributor to academic and trade publications, such as the Harvard Business Review and the Journal of Marketing. He was a founding member of the Temple Kol Ami in West Bloomfield, Mich. He is survived by his sons Sanford of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and Jeff of Mill Valley, Calif.