Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2012, Vol. 67 ›› Issue (8): 1098-1108.doi: 10.11821/xb201208008

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Changing Retail Spatial Patterns in Metropolitan Beijing since 1984

YU Wei1,2, WANG Enru3, SONG Jinping1   

  1. 1. School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China;
    2.School of Geography and Tourism, Qufu Normal University, Rizhao 276800, China;
    3. Department of Geography, University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND 58202, USA
  • Received:2011-12-26 Revised:2012-04-27 Online:2012-08-20 Published:2012-10-11
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40571040; Special Funds for Scientific Research on Public Causes from the Ministry of Land and Resources of China, No.40571040; The Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities

Abstract: Retailing in Beijing has experienced rapid change in the reform era, and has become an important engine driving the economy. However, there has been little systematic analysis of the retail structure change until recently. It was found beneficial to replace the distance-to-CBD variable by a set of dummy variables in the density functions which are widely used to analyze population and employment distributions. With the aids of the expansion methods of model construction, we formulate econometric model to measure the development of retailing structure change in metropolitan Beijing by the introduction of time variable. It is shown that the greatest growth rate in retail trade has occurred in the inner suburbs, and it is almost twice that of the outer suburbs. The growth rate is the lowest in core urban area. So, there is a relative decline of retail share in urban center, similar to the suburbanization of retail in American metropolitan areas. Since 2000, the pace of development in urban center has increased, and it has dropped in outer suburbs. It is contradictory with the previous notions of "downtown retailing vacuum". Based on GIS spatial analysis methods, the paper illustrates spatial structure of supermarkets in metropolitan Beijing. It demonstrates that following the population suburbanization, the supermarkets are mainly diffused to outside the third ring road while the full-line department stores are mainly located within the third ring road. More domestic supermarkets have been built between the fifth and sixth ring roads and foreign or joint-venture supermarkets are distributed between the third and fourth ring roads. It also indicates that the supermarkets in Beijing have obvious characteristics of spatial concentration including some new towns in the outer suburbs and the large-scale residential areas, but there is no obvious hierarchical structure with retailing and services centers. This study suggests that retail chains in the outer suburbs should be improved.

Key words: retail trade, retail spatial structure, spatial trends, density functions, Beijing