This report is intended to provide an indepth trade area analysis of Ashley, North Dakota. Specific analyses included determining Ashley's main and greater trade areas, identifying the demographic profile of Ashley shoppers, examining important and less important services for patron shoppers of Ashley, identifying neighboring cities that area shoppers patronize, determining distances area shoppers traveled to Ashley, and listing popular newspapers and radio stations among area residents. Current trade area information for Ashley was obtained from a statewide trade area survey conducted by the Department of Agricultural Economics at North Dakota State University in 1989. Recent trends (1980 to 1989) in Ashley population, retail sales, per capita income, pull factors, and McIntosh County population and employment were identified and discussed. Ashley's population, trade area population, retail sales, and pull factor, along with McIntosh County population and average annual employment have all decreased throughout the 1980s. Although most demographic and economic measurements have decreased, Ashley has fared as well as other North Dakota cities with similar populations, and has fared favorably compared to smaller competing trade centers. The economic situation found in Ashley and McIntosh County are somewhat typical of the problems found in rural North Dakota communities in the 1980s. Ashley's trade areas were broken down into main and greater trade areas. A main trade area (MTA) was defined as an area where 35 percent or more of the township residents purchase a majority of selected goods and services in one city. A greater trade area (GTA) was defined as the area beyond the MTA where some township residents purchase some selected goods and services in one city. The size of Ashley's MTA has not changed since 1971. The typical household for survey respondents appears to be a middle-aged married couple, who have completed high school, have few children at home, are predominately employed in agriculture or retired, and have resided in the area a large portion of their lives. Main trade area residents traveled an average of 13.3 and 12.8 miles to Ashley to purchase selected convenience and specialty goods and services, respectively. Over half (55.4 percent) of the respondents who purchased 50 percent or more of convenience and specialty goods in Ashley traveled between 6 to 15 miles to purchase the item.Ashley appears to be capturing much of the potential market for most goods and services on the survey questionnaire; however, Ashley could capture more of the available market for clothing items, electronic goods, and selected medical services. Ashley appears to be an important source for most goods and services for those who shop in Ashley for the items. Aberdeen, S.D., Wishek, Ellendale, and Bismarck were the most popular cities for the purchase of nonagricultural goods and services by Ashley MTA residents who did not purchase a majority of the good or service in Ashley. Wishek, Fredonia, and Aberdeen, S.D. were popular for purchasing agricultural goods and services. Outshopping analysis revealed no substantial demographic or socioeconomic differences between Ashley MTA residents purchasing 50 percent or more and those purchasing less than 50 percent of selected goods and services in Ashley. Slight differences between groups were evident only in miles traveled and average age. The Bismarck Tribune and The Forum (Fargo) were the most popular daily newspapers for Ashley MTA and GTA residents, respectively. Ashley Tribune and Wishek Star were the most popular weekly newspapers for Ashley MTA and GTA residents, respectively. The most popular radio stations for Ashley MTA residents included KSJB of Jamestown and KFYR of Bismarck. Although economic times have been difficult, Ashley has retained its past trade area and should remain an important trade center for residents in McIntosh County and the surrounding area.
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