Market Thresholds of Major Retail Chains in Canada: 2nd Edition
By Dr. Tony Hernandez and Magnus Svindal
This research letter examines the spatial distribution of major chains across Canada by size of 'market' (and is an update to our first report). It provides an overview of the locational strategies of a selected number of major chains operating in Canada between 2001 and 2006. The straightforward approach adopted in this allows for the analysis of retail chains' portfolios by the size of the residential population of the 'markets' within which they operate. The research letter starts by defining market and market size, detailing the spatial surrogate used within this study (urban areas). It then identifies trends in market size and preferences for the selected chains as an entire group before providing examples of specific retail chains. The store portfolios of these chains are compared by market size and location type between 2001 and 2006 to identify emerging locational strategies. The research letter provides further evidence of increasing interest amongst a number of major chains in 'small town' (or 'C') markets and points to a future in which these smaller markets will become more competitive with an increased presence of major retail chains. The findings reported can be seen as the locational imprint of the processes of corporate concentration taking place across Canada, fueled by the interplay of increased competitions, concerns over market saturation and the need to sustain growth.