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Market Thresholds of Major Retail Chains in Canada: 3rd Edition

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Market Thresholds of Major Retail Chains in Canada: 3rd Edition

By Dr. Tony Hernandez, Christopher Daniel and Andrew Murray

This research letter examines the spatial distribution of major chains across Canada by size of ‘market’ (and is an update to CSCA 2008-04). It provides an overview of the locational strategies of a selected number of major chains operating in Canada between 2006 and 2011. The straightforward approach adopted in this study allows for the analysis of retail chains’ portfolios by the size of the resident population of the ‘markets’ within which they operate. The research letter starts by defining market , market size and detailing the spatial surrogate used within this study. It then identifies trends in market size and location 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 2006 and 2011 to identify emerging locational strategies. Case studies of the location imprint of Wal-Mart and H&M are provided at the end of the report. The research letter provides further evidence of increasing interest amongst a number of major chains in ‘small town’ (or ‘C’) markets and ‘edge-of-centre’ locations pointing to a future in which these 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 competition, concerns over market saturation and the drive to sustain growth.


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