How many outdoor clothing and equipment shops does one street need?

Yesterday I was on Southampton Street in Covent Garden, London and there were at least six such stores. What do these store managers know that we don’t?

The answer is that competition creates a market.

Just as estate agents, shoe shops and fast food outlets tend to co-locate, it seems that London’s mountaineers prefer to have a choice of outlets before buying their latest set of crampons.

Too often business leaders resent competition, but competition not only helps you raise your own game; it can also help create a market of interested and involved buyers.

Rather than asking, “How can we destroy our competitors?” why not ask, “How can we benefit from improving the level of competition in our market?”