INDIANAPOLIS—JLL recently decided to bolster both its retail brokerage and property management services by acquiring the Los Angeles-based Wilson Retail Group and San Francisco-based Shelter Bay. And now it has decided to boost its retail research platform by bringing on James Cook as the Americas director of retail research. In his new role, the Indianapolis-based Cook will work closely with the firm’s hundreds of retail experts on data collection that will broaden its leasing and investment market analysis.

“Consumer behavior has long been studied, but consumers are changing so rapidly now that the research studies we conduct and the types of pieces we produce need to continually evolve as well,” Cook tells GlobeSt.com.

“Our retail business has seen explosive growth in the last two years, and appointing a dedicated national retail researcher is a crucial investment that will drive our business forward,” says Greg Maloney, Americas chief executive officer of JLL’s retail division. He expects Cook to “take our programming from data-driven analysis to invaluable forecasting and storytelling, offering clients proprietary research that truly elevates their decision making and investment abilities.”

JLL has about 800 retail experts in the Americas and more than 130 brokerage experts spanning more than 30 major markets, representing hundreds of clients. It is the largest third party retail property manager in the US, and handles the management, leasing and/or disposition of more than 710 centers, totaling 83 million square feet.

Cook most recently built and led the new analytics department for Xceligent as a national director. Prior to that he served as the US director of research at Colliers International where he oversaw the firm’s research across all asset classes.

Adding Cook to the JLL roster “reinforces our commitment to leading the retail industry through the creation of powerful thought-leadership and research for our occupier and investor clients,” says Naveen Jaggi, president of retail brokerage, JLL. “His ability to analyze retail’s macro fundamentals through a wide lens, but also hone-in on local city nuances will support our clients’ needs for forward-thinking insights.”

“Retail real estate research is unique, because the content resonates with virtually everyone,” Cook adds. “At the end of the day we’re all shoppers.”