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Retail Trade Area Analysis Washburn North Dakota


  • Bangsund, Dean A.
  • Leistritz, F. Larry
  • Wanzek, Janet K.
  • Zetocha, Dale F.
  • Bastow-Shoop, Holly E.


This report is intended to provide an indepth trade area analysis of Washburn, North Dakota. Specific analyses included determining Washburn's main and greater trade areas, identifying the demographic profile of Washburn shoppers, examining important and less important services for patron shoppers of Washburn, identifying neighboring cities that area shoppers patronize, determining distances area shoppers traveled to Washburn, and listing popular newspapers and radio stations among area residents. Current trade area information for Washburn was obtained from a statewide trade area survey conducted by the Department of Agricultural Economics at North Dakota State University in 1989. Recent trends (1980 to 1989) in Washburn population, retail sales, per capita income, pull factors, and McLean County population and employment were identified and discussed. Washburn's population, trade area population, retail sales, and pull factor, along with McLean County population and average annual employment have all decreased throughout the 1980s. Although most demographic and economic measurements have decreased, Washburn has fared as well as other North Dakota cities with similar population, and has fared favorably compared to smaller competing trade centers. The economic situation found in Washburn and McLean County are somewhat typical of the problems found in rural North Dakota communities in the 1980s. Washburn's trade areas were broken down into main and greater trade areas. A main trade area (MTA) was defined as an area where the majority of township residents purchase a majority of selected goods and services in one city. A greater trade area (GTA) was defined as the area beyond the MTA where some township residents purchase some selected goods and services in one city. Washburn's MTA decreased in size by two townships, compared to MTA boundaries determined in 1969. The typical household for survey respondents appears to be a middle-aged married couple, who have completed high school, have few children at home, are primarily employed in agriculture, professional/technical, and craft/repair professions, and have resided in the area a large portion of their lives. Main trade area residents traveled an average of 5.9 and 6.3 miles to Washburn to purchase selected convenience and specialty goods and services, respectively. Nearly half (42.2 percent) of the respondents who purchased 50 percent or more of convenience and specialty goods in Washburn traveled less than 10 miles to purchase the item. Washburn appears to be an important source of goods and services for those who shop in Washburn; however, Washburn could capture much more of the available market for two-thirds of the nonagricultural and about half of the agricultural goods and services included in the survey questionnaire. Bismarck-Mandan, Center, Turtle Lake, and Underwood were the most popular cities for the purchase of nonagricultural goods and services by Washburn MTA residents who did not purchase a majority of the good or service in Washburn. Wilton, Falkirk, and Bismarck were popular for purchasing agricultural goods and services. Outshopping analysis revealed no substantial demographic or socioeconomic differences between Washburn MTA residents purchasing 50 percent or more and those purchasing less than 50 percent of selected goods and services in Washburn. Differences between groups were evident only in miles traveled. The Bismarck Tribune was the most popular daily newspaper for both Washburn MTA and GTA residents. The Washburn Leader and The McLean County Independent were the most popular weekly newspapers for Washburn MTA and GTA residents, respectively. The most popular radio stations for Washburn MTA residents included KFYR of Bismarck, KBMR of Bismarck, and KQDY of Bismarck. Although economic times have been difficult, Washburn has not lost as much of its retail sales as other cities of similar size; however, Washburn could improve the market capture for much of its available market. Washburn has retained most of its past trade areas and should remain an important trade center for residents in McLean County and the surrounding area.

Suggested Citation

  • Bangsund, Dean A. & Leistritz, F. Larry & Wanzek, Janet K. & Zetocha, Dale F. & Bastow-Shoop, Holly E., 1991. "Retail Trade Area Analysis Washburn North Dakota," Agricultural Economics Miscellaneous Reports 51285, North Dakota State University, Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:nddmrs:51285
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.51285

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