GGR252S Marketing Geography (Snow 2019 – Swales): Trade Area Analysis

Department of Geography – University of Toronto
GGR252S Marketing Geography (Snow 2019 – Swales)
Assignment Two (25%)
Trade Area Analysis:
The Example of an Upscale Automobile Dealership in the Toronto Area
This assignment addresses retail location techniques using the example of upscale automobile
dealerships for one automobile company in the Toronto area. You will consider the spatial
distribution of the dealerships, apply the Thiessen polygon technique, assess new potential locations,
critically evaluate the approach you use. You will then address market variables using the census.
PART A: Trade area delimitation for dealerships
1. The attached map shows the distribution of locations for a luxury automobile dealership in the
Toronto Area on a base map of census tracts and income. The triangles show existing dealerships.
The choropleth map shows average household income by census tract (the darker the greater). The
thick yellow lines are major highways. All the automobile company’s luxury models are available at
all the dealership locations. Describe the spatial distribution of the stores. What locational strategy is
2. On the map draw Thiessen polygon trade areas for all the existing dealerships (shown in triangles).
3. Identify with a
symbol theoretically best sites for new dealerships. Briefly explain your choices.
Use Google Maps with the satellite option activated to explore some of the new sites. Identify
problems with some of the
theoretically best sites you have identified. Give the map an appropriate
title and legend (you can use the white space to the south east of the map to place the legend and
4. If your student number ends in 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4 answer the following question using prospective
(theoretically good) sites south of Highway 401. If your student number ends in 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 answer
the following question using prospective (theoretically good) sites north of Highway 401. Pick the
prospective site in your assigned area that you believe is the best for a new dealership. Justify your
choice by comparing your chosen prospective site with other prospective locations in your assigned
5. Describe how you would use the Thiessen technique to evaluate the impact of locating a new store
at your prospective new site. (Just describe how you would do this; you do not actually have to do
6. Identify the limitations of the application you have executed for
this particular set of retail outlets
in this particular geography
. How appropriate is it to apply the methods to this set of stores? Could
alternative normative methods help in this analysis?
Read the relevant chapters in the book, mostly Chapter Four, in order to complete this
assignment. The appendices are also useful, particularly Appendix Two which gives
step-by-step instructions on retrieving census variables. More detail on this below.

PART B: Market evaluation using census variables
7. You will be familiar with some census variables from Appendix Two in the textbook which
shows selected census variables for the entire Toronto CMA and one census tract (535034.02).
The data are retrieved from 2016 Community Profiles at the Statistics Canada website:
Notice you have Search options: Place name, Postal code and Geographic code; select Postal code.
Type in your home postal code and select the census tract number under Census tracts (CT) (e.g. a
postal code near the campus is M5R 3C4 and the CT is 5350092.00). This will give you your home
CT and also a benchmark for comparison (such as the Toronto CMA).
Study the census data for your home census tract and the Toronto CMA. Note that you also have the
option to “map” the census tract – try it. For your home census tract and Toronto CMA retrieve the
data for the following variables: median age, average household size, predominant dwelling type (e.g.
single-detached, row house, apartment), average household total income and an ethnic variable and
a commuting (journey to work) variable of your choice. Where appropriate convert to percentage
data to enable better comparisons between your home census tract and the CMA. Present the data for
both your CT and CMA in a small table. Also provide your home postal code and census tract number
in the table.
8. Use the data to compare your home census tract with the Toronto CMA as a whole. How would
the variables you have presented be relevant for a luxury automobile dealership? Would your home
market area be a good prospective site for a new dealership?
9. How could you use a combination of the variables in Appendix Two and Appendix Three to
evaluate potential market for upscale automobile dealerships?
NOTE: The written component of this assignment must not exceed five type-written pages
(exclusive of map and table), double spaced. Do not use small fonts or small margins. Staple, do not
bind your assignment.
DUE DATE: Hand your assignment directly to your TA at the beginning of your tutorial session as
per the tutorial schedule otherwise it will be considered late and late penalties will apply.
Readings: Stephen Swales (2018) GEOGRAPHY MATTERS: Location Analytics for Retail and Public
, McGraw Hill. (Chapter 4 & all three Appendices.)

Student Academic Integrity: It is essential that you read and abide by the guidelines on student
academic integrity in order to avoid academic misconduct:
Avoid plagiarism which can result in failing the course or worse.

Follow the instructions in Appendix One in the textbook to retrieve 2016 census data for the
Toronto CMA and your home census tract (use your home postal code to retrieve the latter).