Retail Sales and Retail Location
By Jim Simmons
This report is the first in a series of studies focusing on the 'National Commercial Structure', defined as the geography of commercial activity across the country, including such varied elements as small towns in the west, downtown Toronto, aging pedestrian strips and shiny new malls and supercentres. The key element in the description of the national commercial structure is the information about the outlets of the largest commercial formats in the country from CSCA's databases with lists of stores, by name, floor area and location. The magnitude and characterisitics of different components of the commercial structure are estimated by allocating these actitivies to various commercial locations: the places where Canadians shop, pay their bills or dine out.
This report describes the first phase of this process, the identification of major retail locations in the country. The retail nodes, their characteristics, specializations and recent growth tracks will be explored, with the ultimate goal of developing a spatial structure in which to integrate all commercial activities. By comparing this retail structure to the observed pattern of retail sales, it is possible to evaluate its effectiveness and efficiency, and to explore patterns of growth and decline.