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Independent niche retail: board game cafe location and classification

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posted on 25.05.2021, 07:53 by Unknown Author
The main purpose of this study is to provide academic insight on the niche market, the board game café sector. Geographic investigative approaches were utilized to uncover operational/locational dynamics adopted by these retailers. Board game cafés are independent retailers who adopt a mixed-use business strategy. These establishments embody the characteristics of food, entertainment and retail point sale capabilities. The paper provides background understanding the changes of table top games throughout different periods in history. Contextual information is provided on table top gaming categories that define board games of the 21st century. The study then presents research within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) on a sample of 16-board game café locations. Using researcher defined sets of variables, geographic methods were utilized in attempts to better understand the characteristics of the market. Huff Model analysis was conducted to determine the relative market influence and exposure of each café location. K-Means cluster analysis using researcher selected census data and Environics spending’s estimates were used to classify census tract neighbourhoods into similar groupings. Seven user defined cluster groups by census tract were resulted, explaining the household profile characteristics within the study area. Combining the results of Huff Model and K-Means analysis determined that a favoured cluster grouping (Millennials & Millennial bearing households) was adopted by a majority of board game café trade areas. Using this cluster grouping as baseline indicators, a multi-criteria decision analysis was conducted to determine market gaps within the study area. The analysis revealed two areas in Toronto which are assumed to have untapped potential for board game café establishments.





Master of Spatial Analysis


Spatial Analysis

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


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Spatial Analysis (Theses)