Conference paper Open Access

A Framework for Delineating the Scale, Extent and Characteristics of American Retail Centre Agglomerations: The Case of Chicago Metropolitan Area during COVID-19

Ballantyne, Patrick; Singleton, Alex; Dolega, Les; Credit, Kevin

This paper presents a framework through which formal definitions and typologies of retail centres, such as those in the UK, can be extended to the US. Using the Chicago Metropolitan Statistical Area as a case study and data from SafeGraph, we present a retail centre delineation method that combines Hierarchical-DBSCAN with ‘H3’ and demonstrate the usefulness of a non-hierarchical approach to retail classification. In addition, we show that the dynamicity and comprehensibility of retail centres makes them an effective tool through which to better understand the impacts of COVID-19 on retail sector dynamics, through exploration of changes to retail centre visits during the pandemic. This approach demonstrates significant scope for a comprehensive classification of retail centre agglomerations for the US, providing a tool through which to monitor the evolution of American retail.

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