Marketing Geography

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Department of Geography
University of Toronto Mississauga
Marketing Geography
Assignment #2 Topic 8
Value - 25% of course grade

In this assignment, you will evaluate Sherway Gardens Shopping Centre in the context of its surrounding land uses and surrounding population. Distance decay models suggest that most customers at a shopping facility reside less than ten minutes travel time from the facility. This suggests that a shopping facility should reflect the retail needs of the surrounding population. You will determine if the market focus of Sherway Gardens reflects the surrounding population and if there are particular opportunities or threats for this facility in the future.

Required Tasks:
To complete the assignment you should first produce your maps and then make your site visit. You must produce a map of the ‘surrounding land uses’, a map of ‘household income’, a map of ‘dwelling value’ and one ‘ethnicity’ map (decide on the best ethnicity map to use based on the options available). Consult the mapping guide on portal for information on creating the maps (Google Earth Mapping Guide in the Digital Map File folder).

Travel to Sherway Gardens Shopping Centre and gather information through observation on the following: location, accessibility and surrounding land uses; design and layout, the use of floor space and the ambience of the shopping centre; pricing strategies, store variety and services at the shopping centre and the market focus of the shopping centre. You should take the maps with you as you travel to the shopping centre. On your journey pay particular attention to the surrounding areas and consider how well they are reflected on the maps. Use the streets identified on your maps to orient you. The combination of the maps and the site visit should assist you complete to the written portion of the assignment.

Recommended Reading:
Swales, S. (2008) Marketing Geography, pp.41-54, 197-214, 263-287.

Structure and Grading:
Your assignment should have the following structure. The assignment will be graded according to this layout with specific marks for each section.

1. Introduction (approx. 3/4 page) (10 marks)
Focus on the shopping mall concept and place it in the context of the overall retail structure not your specific shopping mall.

2. Four Maps (½ page each) (20 marks)
The maps should have a title, a legend, source and a directional arrow. Maps will be graded on their accuracy, their clarity, readability and overall presentation.

3. Does the market focus of the shopping centre reflect the population characteristics displayed in the maps? (2 pages) (25 marks) Determine the market focus from on your visit to the shopping mall and the observations you make at that location. Determine the characteristics of the population from an analysis of the maps.

4. Are there particular opportunities or threats that this shopping centre may face in the future. (2 pages) (25 marks) In this section, consider the following: Is the shopping centre maximising its market through its current market focus? Are there opportunities to change this market focus? Are there threats posed by other retail facilities in this area? Are there opportunities related to possible neighbourhood change and/or changes in land uses? Are there threats related to possible neighbourhood change and/or changes in land uses? Does this facility have a certain or uncertain future? Inform your discussion through analysis of the maps you have produced, your field observations (both at the shopping centre and on your journey to the location) and by your knowledge of the retail economy. Your discussion should not be organized by question and should not have a question/answer focus.

5. Conclusion (approx. 3/4 page) (10 marks)
Focus on the shopping mall concept in the future (potential of this retail format, expansion, competition etc) and not your specific shopping mall.

There will be 10 marks allocated to writing and...
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