U.S. Nationwide trends in metropolitan retail trade: A perspective of the mid 1980s

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The 1982 U.S. summary data for retail sales (Census of Retail Trade) are analyzed in light of trends since 1958. The metropolitan economy consists of four sectors, namely CBDs, major retail centres (MRCs), non-CBD/MRC retailing and direct marketing. Total U.S. retail sales declined by some 1.6% during 1977–1982. Metropolitan retail sales increased, however, more than metropolitan population growth. This is related to the construction of outer-ring superregional centres which serve also exurban customers. Within metropolitan areas CBDs continued their absolute and relative decline, while MRCs grew, keeping their share in the metropolitan economy. Non-CBD/MRC retailing is the largest and increasingly growing sector. It represents demographic and economic changes that lead to an increased emphasis on speciality strip and small-town retailing. Direct marketing, while constantly growing, has not yet become a real threat to conventional store retailing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-187
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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