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Retail Area Overlap: A Case in Forensic Geography

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A retail dealer was given an exclusive market area in which to sell the product of a manufacturer. Later, this manufacturer assigned part of that exclusive area to another dealer. The first dealer subsequently sued the manufacturer for a breach of contract and damages resulting from the overlap. The attorney for the defense (the manufacturer's attorney) asked me to form an opinion on damages as an expert witness in economic geography. I used two methods: (1) a thought experiment based on a retail gravity model, and (2) an elementary regional shift-share analysis. This case study in applied geography is presented here in the form of a narrative.

Keywords: exclusive market area; forensic geography; gravity model; retail location

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 2003

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