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Retail Trade Area Analysis Grafton 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 Grafton, North Dakota. Specific analyses included determining Grafton's main and greater trade areas, identifying the demographic profile of Grafton shoppers, examining important and less important services for patron shoppers of Grafton, identifying neighboring cities that area shoppers patronize, determining distances area shoppers traveled to Grafton, and listing popular newspapers and radio stations among area residents. Current trade area information for Grafton 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 Grafton population, retail sales, per capita income, pull factors, and Walsh County population and employment were identified and discussed. Grafton's population, trade area population, retail sales, and pull factors along with Walsh County population and average annual employment have all decreased throughout the 1980s. Although most demographic and economic measurements have decreased, Grafton has fared as well, if not better than other North Dakota cities with similar populations, and has fared similar to smaller competing trade centers. The economic situation found in Grafton and Walsh County are somewhat typical of the problems found in northeastern North Dakota communities in the 1980s. Grafton'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. Grafton's MTA decreased in size by seven townships, compared to MTA boundaries determined in 1973. The typical household for survey respondents appears to be a middle-aged married couple, who have completed high school, have few children at home, primarily are employed in agriculture and professional/technical professions, and have resided in the area a large portion of their lives. Main trade area residents traveled an average of 9.5 and 9.8 miles to Grafton to purchase selected convenience and specialty goods and services, respectively. Many (41.3 percent) of the respondents who purchased 50 percent or more of convenience and specialty goods in Grafton traveled over 20 miles to purchase the item. Grafton appears to be an important trade center for those who shop there; however, Grafton could capture more of the available market for nearly half of the nonagricultural and three-fourths of the agricultural goods and services listed on the survey. Grand Forks, Park River, Cavalier, Hoople, St. Thomas, and Minto were the most popular cities for the purchase of nonagricultural goods and services by Grafton MTA residents who did not purchase a majority of the good or service in Grafton. Nash, Park River, Minto, and Hoople were popular for purchasing agricultural goods and services. Outshopping analysis revealed no substantial demographic or socioeconomic differences between Grafton MTA residents purchasing 50 percent or more and those purchasing less than 50 percent of selected goods and services in Grafton. Differences between groups were evident only in miles traveled. The Grand Forks Herald and The Forum (Fargo) were the most popular daily newspapers for both Grafton MTA and GTA residents. The Grafton Record and The Walsh County Press were the most popular weekly newspapers for Grafton MTA and GTA residents, respectively. The most popular radio stations for Grafton MTA residents included KXPO of Grafton, KNOX of Grand Forks, and KFGO of Fargo. According to selected demographic and economic measurements, Grafton appears to have survived the 1980s in good shape; however, Grafton has lost a substantial portion of its main trade area to competing trade centers. Even though Grafton's main trade area has decreased, Grafton still extends considerable retail influence in the northeastern corner of North Dakota and will continue to be an important trade center in northeastern North Dakota.

Suggested Citation

  • Bangsund, Dean A. & Leistritz, F. Larry & Wanzek, Janet K. & Zetocha, Dale F. & Bastow-Shoop, Holly E., 1991. "Retail Trade Area Analysis Grafton North Dakota," Agricultural Economics Miscellaneous Reports 51310, North Dakota State University, Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:nddmrs:51310
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.51310

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