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Map of the Month – September 2016
“True Trade Areas” Trump 3-mile
We’ve all seen market studies based on 1, 3, and 5 mile rings around a central point: usually a property, intersection, or street address. Let’s call those “traditional” ring analyses. Unfortunately, traditional ring analysis is often misleading, inaccurate, and too easy to misuse. There is a better method we call “True Trade Area” analysis:
True Trade Area analysis starts by mapping the targeted data, say Median Household Income, over a larger geographic area superimposed over color-coded census tracts. Then it’s comparatively easy to identify smaller but similar polygons, or patterns, within the larger geographic area and to select a True Trade Area.
To demonstrate, the following map is a traditional 3-mile ring centered on Camelback Road and 44th St.
It is easy to see there is a wide range of incomes within the 3 mile ring map and a median of medians of $67,000. Contrast that with the above True Trade Area map. The median of median income increases to $92,000 and Camelback Road and 44th St. is no longer centered. The trade area has moved north and east.
True Trade Areas can come in all shapes and sizes. They will never be rings!