The Commercial Structure of Dublin
By Dr. Ian J. Lindsay and Dr. Anthony J. Parker
This paper is one of a series which contrasts the commercial geography of Toronto with that of metropolitan regions elsewhere. The rationale for these studies is twofold. First, similarities among world cities, effectively demonstrate how the internationalization of retailing exploits new markets, generates new forms of competition, and challenges established practices in once insulated regions. Second, successful penetration of foreign markets by multinational corporations requires an understanding of the complex urban retail environment, which is often different from the one in which they first developed. A corollary of the above argument is that domestic retailers may no longer be able to rely upon the uniqueness of their own urban retail environment to fend off foreign competitors.
This paper follows the general organization of its predecessors. Initially, the principal differences between the markets of Dublin and Toronto are analyzed, including household and income characteristics and the spatial distribution of demand. Then analysis shifts to the nature of commercial facilities, their sectoral composition, size variation and growth, taking into account the spatial pattern of retail structure. Third, specific elements of competition are discussed, particularly the extent of corporate concentration and the effect of retail chain location decisions. Finally, the regulatory environment is assess in terms of public sector controls, land use planning, and the impact of infrastructure investment.