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Concentration of Competing Retail Stores


  • Hideo Konishi

    () (Boston College)


Geographical concentration of stores that sell similar commodities is pervasive. To analyze this phenomenon, this paper provides a simple two dimensional spatial competition model with consumer taste uncertainty. Given taste uncertainty, concentration of stores attracts more consumers since more variety means that a consumer has a higher chance of finding her favorite commodity (a market size effect). On the other hand, concentration of stores leads to fiercer price competition (a price cutting effect). The trade-off between these two effects is the focus of this paper. We provide a few sufficient conditions for the nonemptiness of equilibrium store location choices in pure strategies. We illustrate, by an example, that the market size effect is much stronger for small scale concentrations, but as the number of stores at the same location becomes larger, the price cutting effect eventually dominates. We also discuss consumers' incentives to visit a concentration of stores instead of using mail orders.

Suggested Citation

  • Hideo Konishi, 1999. "Concentration of Competing Retail Stores," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 447, Boston College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:447

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    1. Gokhan Guven & Eren Inci & Antonio Russo, 2017. "Apparent Competition in Two-Sided Platforms," CESifo Working Paper Series 6660, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Arbatskaya, Maria & Konishi, Hideo, 2012. "Referrals in search markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 89-101.
    3. repec:bla:presci:v:96:y:2017:i:4:p:721-741 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Berg, Nathan, 2008. "Imitation in location choice," MPRA Paper 26592, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Ding, Ke & Gokan, Toshitaka & Zhu, Xiwei, 2013. "Search, matching, and self-organization of a marketplace," IDE Discussion Papers 396, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    6. Michael J. Hicks, 2005. "Does Wal-Mart Cause an Increase in Anti-Poverty Program Expenditures?," Public Economics 0511015, EconWPA.
    7. Michael Hicks, 2007. "Wal-Mart’s Impact on Local Revenue and Expenditure Instruments in Ohio, 1988–2003," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 35(1), pages 77-95, March.
    8. Fell, Harrison & Kousky, Carolyn, 2015. "The value of levee protection to commercial properties," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 181-188.
    9. Konishi, Hideo & Sandfort, Michael T., 2002. "Expanding demand through price advertisement," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(7), pages 965-994, September.
    10. Tomoya Mori, 2006. "Monocentric Versus Polycentric Models in Urban Economics," KIER Working Papers 611, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
    11. Billings, Stephen B. & Johnson, Erik B., 2016. "Agglomeration within an urban area," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 13-25.
    12. Non, Marielle, 2010. "Isolation or joining a mall? On the location choice of competing shops," MPRA Paper 20044, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Christos Kotsogiannis & Konstantinos Serfes, 2010. "Public Goods and Tax Competition in a Two-Sided Market," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(2), pages 281-321, April.
    14. repec:spr:annopr:v:246:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1007_s10479-014-1704-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Jenny Schuetz & Richard K. Green, 2014. "Is The Art Market More Bourgeois Than Bohemian?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2), pages 273-303, March.
    16. Yin, Zhe & Ma, Shihua, 2015. "Incentives to improve the service level in a random yield supply chain: The role of bonus contracts," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 244(3), pages 778-791.
    17. Zhang, Xu & Goddard, Ellen W., 2010. "Analysis of Value-Added Meat Product Choice Behaviour by Canadian Households," Project Report Series 99703, University of Alberta, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology.
    18. Samuel de Haas & Daniel Herold & Jan T. Schaefer, 2017. "Shopping hours and entry - An empirical analysis of Aldi's opening hours," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201751, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    19. Picone, Gabriel A. & Ridley, David B. & Zandbergen, Paul A., 2009. "Distance decreases with differentiation: Strategic agglomeration by retailers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 463-473, May.
    20. Larralde, Hernn & Stehl, Juliette & Jensen, Pablo, 2009. "Analytical solution of a multi-dimensional Hotelling model with quadratic transportation costs," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 343-349, May.
    21. Kultti Klaus, 2011. "Sellers Like Clusters," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-28, December.
    22. Ke Ding & Toshitaka Gokan & Xiwei Zhu, 2017. "Small business and the self-organization of a marketplace," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 58(1), pages 1-19, January.
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    More about this item


    consumer search; market size effect; price cutting effect; taste uncertainty;

    JEL classification:

    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics
    • R3 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location

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