An Assessment of a Multinational Retail Chain on Local Economic Development, Investigating the Impact on Commercial Activities using Geographic and Spatial Analysis

Authors: Brian Ceh*, Ryerson University, Tony Hernandez, Ryerson University, Florence Ipaye, Ryerson University
Topics: Business Geography, Economic Geography, Urban Geography
Keywords: Walmart, retail, geography, box-store, store
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Bacchus, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


To what extent large retail chains like Walmart can impact local commercial activity is hard to calibrate. This study attempts to determine what influences might be occurring at the local level with respect to competing retailers that tend to be locally or nationally owned and which compete directly with a retail multinational. In this study, commercial retail activities that compete and compliment Walmart stores are examined in the city of St Catherines, Ontario, Canada. The city was chosen because its population has remained somewhat constant over the past two decades and it has three Walmart stores, which is a notable number of stores for a Canadian city that only has 125,000 persons. Further, there are two additional Walmart stores within 5 miles of the city. Based on the data analyzed it is found that retail activity in St Catharines has been declining and that this decline has accelerated with the presence of box stores. When and where a Walmart store has supersized in the city, competing nearby retailers are decline in numbers faster than expected.

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