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    STUDIA GEOGRAPHIA - Issue no. 1 / 2012  

Authors:  R. RUSU.

Spatial Location and Dynamics of Retail Stores in Cluj-Napoca City Center. The decisions regarding the location of retail stores have a decisive impact on the structure of the central area of a city, as the retail segment has the main role in generating the phenomenon of centrality. This paper identifies and analyzes the retail stores and their location in Cluj-Napoca city center, as well as their spatial behavior. It is based on detailed surveys of the buildings located in the city center. The data recorded in the field were later introduced in ArcGIS 9.3 program, as it allows multiple spatial interrogations. Within the studied area, one may notice that the stores selling a large number and diversified products for medium and long duration take advantage of the spatial proximity, according to the principle of complementarity. Spatial concentration of retail stores may be noticed near bus stops or around the road junctions. However, concentration may also be a restrictive factor as it leads to competition; therefore, certain stores, like the groceries, are rather spatially dispersed. After 2007, an accelerated reorientation of the retail segment took place in Cluj-Napoca, as two large shopping centers – Polus Center and Iulius Mall – opened up at the periphery of the city. Trade in the central area suffered a severe decline so that many stores relocated in the large shopping centers. The financial crisis also led to significant mutations in the field of commercial services. The predominance of the social class with average and low income made that the empty spaces left by the widely-known brands in the city center to be taken by second-hand shops, cheap clothing stores and pawn shops. The study succeeded to overcome the simple inventory of central functions, getting to notice trends, to identify laws and explain spatial behaviors that became typical in the case of certain functions and retail stores.

Keywords: retail stores, spatial location, city center, shopping centers, trade, crisis

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