About Us

Ed Smith & Associates is a top consulting firm specializing in site location research, sales forecasting and strategic planning for the retail and real estate industry. Since its establishment in 1996, ESA has served over sixty clients in evaluating retail sites and related issues. With over 80 years of combined professional experience, ESA has the expertise to assist you in the strategic placement and sales forecasting of your stores.

Ed Smith

Ed Smith

Ed Smith has thirty years of professional experience in retail site location research. He began his career with The Kroger Co. in 1981, where his tenure included positions as Competition Field Analyst in Orlando, Florida for the southeastern United States; Real Estate Manager for the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Area in Roanoke, Virginia; and Senior Manager of Site Location Research at its headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1993, Ed became a Vice President for the international research firm of Thompson Associates, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 1996, Ed established his own research firm, Ed Smith & Associates, which has grown to serve over eighty retail development and retail store clients, including six chains ranked in the top ten of sales performance in the nation. Ed received his Masters Degree in Geography and Bachelor of Science in Education at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Jessica Smith

Jessica Lykins

Jessica Lykins joined Ed Smith & Associates in 2002. Jessica organizes and oversees project production and ensures a timely delivery of the final research product. In addition, Jessica has been responsible for preparing special reports analyzing the economic trends and demographic profiles of trade areas and communities. Jessica graduated from Miami University with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications.

Greg Kerr

Greg Kerr

Greg joined Ed Smith & Associates as a site location analyst in 1998. His responsibilities include sales forecasting, population projections, custom mapping and analysis of customer loyalty card data. Greg has been instrumental in forecasting over 700 potential store sites for clients such as Kroger, Harris Teeter and Winn Dixie. Greg received his Bachelor of Science in Education from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.

Associate Partners

James Walewski

James Walewski

James has over 20 years of experience in the research field beginning with Thompson Associates in 1990, where he worked his way from Field Analyst to Senior Vice President of Restaurant Location Research before forming the James Andrew Group in 2005. James has consulted with restaurant chains such as Chick-fil-A, Panera Bread, Burger King, Del Taco, Applebee's, Buffalo Wild Wings and YUM! Brands, in addition to advising other major retailers such as The Home Depot, Meijer, Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn.

James received his undergraduate degree in Financial Administration from Michigan State University and a Masters degree in Real Estate Appraisal and Commercial Valuation from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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John Haake

John Haake

Dr. John Haake has over thirty years of research experience including positions as Director of Market Research for The Kmart Corporation, Manager of Planning & Research at The Kroger Co. and founder of the Market Research Department at Fays, Inc. John is an Emeritus Member of the Steering Committee of the Research Advisory Task Force of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and a past Member of the Steering Committee of the Applied Geography Conference and an elected board member of The Applied Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers (AAG).

John's expertise includes the development of real estate storing strategies, new store sales forecasting, consumer research studies, shopping center re-positioning and feasibility analysis, mixed-use development, gentrification and under-served market analysis projects. John earned his PhD in Geography at the University of Cincinnati. He received his Masters Degree in Geography and Bachelor of Liberal Arts at Wayne State University.

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