University of Washington
Geography 350: Marketing and Retail Geographies
5 credits; Writing intensive
Spring Quarter 2011

Geography 350 is an introductory course in the geography of retailing and consumer behavior. The focus will be on methods of analyzing market areas at multiple scales. In addition, students will review work in the cultural-geographic interpretation of retailing and marketing. Empirical examples will focus on the US and UK, but additional international information will be included. 

Professor JW Harrington, Geography, University of Washington
Office: 416C Smith Hall
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:30-2:30pm, and by appointment
Contact:; 206-616-3821
Class Meetings:  Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30-11:20 a.m.
Anderson Hall, Room 008

By the end of the course, a successful student will be able to:
• understand basic methods of trade area analysis, spatial competition, and store siting;
• use basic methods of trade area analysis, spatial competition, or store siting in a self-designed project;
• identify and use data sources that help in retail location analysis;
• interpret retail spaces and patterns from political and experiential perspectives;
• suggest implications of innovation and consolidation trends in retailing;
• describe some implications of e-commerce for the retail sectors.

Reading will include selected chapters from the following sources:
Dunne, P.M., Lusch, R.F., and Griffith, D.A. 2002. Ch.7, Market selection and retail location analysis, in Retailing, 4th ed. Mason, OH: South-Western. packet at U Bookstore
J&S Jones, K. and Simmons, J. 1990. The Retail Environment. London: Routledge. packet at U Bookstore
L&W Levy, M. and Weitz, B. 1998. Ch.9, Site selection, in Retailing Management, 3rd ed. Boston: Irwin McGraw-Hill. packet at U Bookstore
T&D Thrall, G.I. and del Valle, J.C. 1996. William Applebaum: father of marketing geography. GeoInfoSystems 6 (Sept.): 50-54. e-reserve
Warf, B. and Chapman, T.  2006.  Cathedrals of consumption.  Ch. 12 in Wal-Mart World, ed. by S.D. Brunn.  New York: Routledge.
packet at U Bookstore
We'll also read specific articles from academic and trade journals, cited in the Schedule below;  these are either linked via the public internet or are are available through UW Libraries online.

Students will develop and write on a research project (from a list of topics) relating to retail analysis or interpretation (including identifying information sources and analytic methods).  The order of magnitude of the draft and final papers is 2500 words. Follow the style guide for the preferred method of citation (the CSE style) which is also used in this syllabus, above and at the end), and notes about spelling, grammar, and syntax pitfalls.  See the UW Libraries' resource site for this course.

There will be occasional in-class activities (more than the two explicitly mentioned in the Schedule), with some graded output, and two in-class tests.

Grading assignments. Each assignment will be graded on a percentage basis. Content, clarity, writing, and format all count in the grading of the assignments:  see the instructor's more explicit statement about grading research papers. Be especially careful about plagiarism: more than three words in the order you read them somewhere else (including on the WWW, including my own lecture notes) must be set off in quotation marks and given a full citation.

Late assignments. Assignments are due at the beginning of the specified class period; 20% of the assignment's value will be deduced for material submitted after the specified class but by the following class period; 50% of the assignment's value will be deducted for material submitted later than this, until 5:00 p.m. Tuesday 7 June.

Final grades. The final grade for the course will be calculated as follows. Each graded item can contribute up to a specified number of points toward the quarter's total that can equal up to 100 points. Each student’s final grade reflects the number of these 100 points the student has earned during the quarter.

                    Schedule of Assignments and Points
Brief statement of purpose
5 points
Occasional in-class activities
10 points
Two tests @ 25 points each 50 points
Research paper (proposal @ 5; draft @ 10; final @ 20)
35 points
100 points

Total scores (on a scale of 0 - 100) will translate into final grades (on a scale of 0.0 - 4.0) approximately according to the scale below: the instructor may be more lenient than this.

Schedule of Points and Grades
90-100 points
3.6 - 4.0
75- 89 points
2.5 - 3.5
60- 74 points
1.5 - 2.4
50- 59 points
0.7 - 1.4
 0- 50 points

Incomplete work. [From the University Registrar's website] A grade of “I” (Incomplete) is given only when the student has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work until within two weeks of the end of the quarter and has furnished proof satisfactory to the instructor that the work cannot be completed because of illness or other circumstances beyond the student's control. To obtain credit for the course, an undergraduate student must convert an Incomplete into a passing grade no later than the last day of the next quarter. The student should never reregister for the course as a means of removing the Incomplete. An Incomplete grade not made up by the end of the next quarter is converted to the grade of 0.0 by the Registrar unless the instructor has indicated, when assigning the Incomplete grade, that a grade other than 0.0 should be recorded if the incomplete work is not completed. The original Incomplete grade is not removed from the permanent record.

SCHEDULE (numbers in the "Readings" column refer to pages unless marked "Ch." for chapters)
Tu 3/29
Th 3/31
   marketing vs. retailing
   size of the activities
   key actors & motivations
   geographic approaches,
       incl. spatial interaction

Tu 4/ 5
Trade area analysis (outline; formulas)
   primary market area

   Theisen polygons and retail gravitation

   Huff:  probabilistic trade areas
J&S Ch.11
Dunne 252-3;  L&W 258-60
Dunne 244-6;  L&W 274-7
L&W 277-9
urban rent gradients
Thrall & del Valle, "Applebaum"

Th 4/ 7
Dunne 253-6
links to useful sites
Brief 1 due (your learning objectives and motivations)
Tu 4/12
Finding data and info sources for project research
Meet in Allen Library Auditorium;  in-class activity
Th 4/14
Retail saturation
Dunne 246-7
Dunne 241-2
ESRI overview

Tu 4/19
Predicting sales
   buying power index
   analog approach
   regression analysis
   data sources

Dunne 247-8
L&W 268-71
L&W 271-4
L&W 261-6
Brief 2 due (project topic, approach, data sources)
Th 4/21
Site selection
    location rent & ability to pay
    types of retail settings
    specific site selection
Discuss project proposals
Review for test
J&S Ch.10

Dunne 231-9
Dunne 259-63

Tu 4/26

See review sheet & market-area-analysis formulas
Th 4/28
Location as a component of strategy
J&S Ch.12
optional:  GraffRigby & VishwanathSharp & Dawes

Tu 5/ 3
Internet retailing
Dunne 240
Maruca et al.
Forman et al.
Office Hour will be 2-3PM.
Th 5/ 5
Distribution and supply management
Supply chains

Tu 5/10
New retail geography
Wrigley & Marston
Bibliographic assignment due
Th 5/12
Experiential interpretations of retailing
Warf & Chapman
In-class activity, based on readings

No office hour.
Tu 5/17
Food retailing
Food deserts
Pearce et al.

Th 5/19
Department store restructuring
Localization of chain stores

Dunne 230
Rigby & Vishwanath

Tu 5/24
Internationalization of retailing

Th 5/26
Discussion of projects;  review

Paper drafts due
Tu 5/31
Optional session to answer questions and provide feedback on drafts

Th 6/ 2

In-class test
Mon 6/6
Papers due by 5PM (no class meeting)

Papers due

Basker, E.  2007.  The causes and consequences of Wal-Mart’s growth.  J. of Eonomic Perspectives 21(3): 177-198. Access this through UW Libraries e-journals.

Bowen, J.T.  2008.  Moving places: the geography of warehousing in the US.  J. of Transport Geography 16: 379-87.  Access this through UW Libraries e-journals.

Forman, C., Ghose, A., and Goldfarb, A.  2009.  Competition between local and electronic markets: how the benefit of buying online depends on where you live.  Management Science 55(1): 47-57.  Access this through UW Libraries e-journals.

Goss, J.  1993.  The magic of the mall: an analysis of form, function, and meaning in the contemporary retail built environment.  Annals of the Assoc. of Amer. Geogr. 83(1): 18-47.  Access this through UW Libraries e-journals.

Graff, T.O.  1998.  The locations of Wal-Mart and Kmart Supercenters: Contrasting Corporate Strategies.  The Professional Geographer 50(1): 46-57.  Access this through UW Libraries e-journals.

Lowe, M.  2002.  Commentary: Taking economic and cultural geographies seriously. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie 93(1): 5-7.  Access this through UW Libraries e-journals.

Maruca, R.F., et al.  1999.  Retailing: Confronting the challenges that face bricks-and-mortar stores.  Harvard Business Review 77(4): 159-168.  Access this through UW Libraries e-journals.

Pearce, J., Blakely, T., Witten, K., and Bartie, P.  2007.  Neighborhood deprivation and access to fast-food retailing: a national study.  Amer. J. of Preventive Medicine 32(5): 375-82.  Access this through UW Libraries e-journals.

Rigby, D.K. and Vishwanath, V. 2006.  Localization: The revolution in consumer markets.  Harvard Business Review 84(4): 82-92.  Access this through UW Libraries e-journals.

Sharp, B. and Dawes, J.  2001.  What is differentiation and how does it work?  J. of Marketing Management 17 (7-8): 739-759.  Access this through UW Libraries e-journals.

Wang, S.  2009.  Foreign retailers in post-WTO China: stories of success and setbacks.  Asia-Pacific Business Review 15(1): 59-77.  Access this through UW Libraries e-journals.

Wrigley, N.  2002.  Transforming the corporate landscape of US food retailing: market power, financial re-engineering and regulation.  Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie 93(1): 62-82.   Access this through UW Libraries e-journals.

Wrigley, N. and Marston, S.A.  2002.  Guest editorial. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie 93(1): 3-4.  Access this through UW Libraries e-journals.

copyright James W. Harrington
revised 18 May 2011