Retail-center viability and urban form: a micro analysis


Location is commonly axiomatically stated as the most important real estate feature. However, little attention is given to the urban system that reveals how location is configured, and how that configuration sustains the viability of site-specific retailing activity in the metropolitan region. In this paper, we use block-level, GIS-aided spatial data that reveal the physical qualities of the retail center’s built environment as well as employment and business activity. Thereby, we examine a hypothesis that retailing viability is linked to urban form and set out to determine a statistical relationship. Retail sales data indicate the viability of businesses in two matched shopping centers, urban and suburban, each anchored by an identical big-box retailer downsized to a neighborhood supermarket, with pedestrian-friendly orientation and proximity to housing. The paper concludes with regression estimates of the urban form determinants of business viability by various distances from the retail center.

Publication Title

International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research