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Jacobs' Insights Tool for Target Stores is Officially Patent Pending

The Jacobs team has been busy this year and we are thrilled to announce our patent application for our latest innovation, Jacobs Radius, has been accepted and we are now officially patent pending!

Mark von Oven, Steve Ripple, Jackie Gibney, and Andy Olson sporting their Patent Pending shirts at Jacobs

Target has over 1,850 brick and mortar locations in the continental United States. At Jacobs, we pride ourselves in knowing as much as we can about each and every one of them. It’s easy to get to know your local Target store, especially when you can walk there every day, but how do you get local insights on every store in the chain?

We now have a better way to measure how each Target is shopped.

Our proprietary Jacobs’ Neighborhood database contains 1000s of highly curated, local attributes including census demographics, points of interest, and major competitors like Walmart, CVS, Ulta and many more.

The more we know about a specific location, the more correlations we can discover between the performance of your brand, the local environment, and the local guests you’re trying to close.

Mark von Oven, Director of Data, Analytics, and Design at Jacobs tells us, “my whole career, whenever anyone has tried to do something at the local level, the lowest level you can usually get is by zip code. By default, retailers typically depend on a 1:1 relationship between zip code and store. What we know is that method doesn’t reflect reality. The Richfield, Minnesota store is a good example of a location that is sitting at the intersection of 4 zip codes and we only use one of those zip codes for information.”

Jacobs Radius is a patent pending algorithm that dynamically associates relevant, local attributes to a Target location in a way that better reflects how your local Target is shopped and what affects those shopping habits.

Mark explains, “our team devised a process and algorithm that creates a radius around a point of interest that is proportional to the population density. We can then tie it to that location. In the case of the Richfield, Minnesota store, you get a combination of the demographics of all those 4 zip codes.”

How do we do it? Our algorithm dynamically creates a radius for each location that is inversely proportional to population density. Every location is different and we use Jacobs’ Neighborhood to ensure we fully understand the uniqueness of each store. That means for the Target store in Oklahoma City we could be analyzing attributes and demographics within a 3 mile radius while at the same time, a 3 block radius is more realistic for the Target located near Central Park in Manhattan.

Once you understand the similarities and differences between every location in the enterprise, the end result is what really sets us apart. We can provide chain level recommendations, or dive deep into the specific, localized actions that you can take with Target to truly present a guest-led approach to merchandising. The infusion of a data-driven approach in the retail business has opened a world of opportunities and has the capability to enhance every aspect of the industry.


The possibilities to drive sales and manage inventory are endless with Jacobs' Radius & Jacobs' Neighborhood. We’ve used Jacobs’ Neighborhood to create predictive metrics regarding the economy, unemployment and the potential effects of a deep recession on each Target location. We have improved inventory allocation during the cold & flu season, and we continue to use it to facilitate the allocation of non-surgical masks in a way that ensures that stores in need receive the most attention. We are excited to work with more brands at Target to improve guest insights, make smarter data-driven decisions, and execute sales growth.



The Target store in Oklahoma City we could be analyzing attributes and demographics within a 3 mile radius

While at the same time, a 3 block radius is more realistic for the Target located near Central Park

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