This report is intended to provide an indepth trade area analysis of Fessenden, North Dakota. Specific analyses included determining Fessenden's main and greater trade areas, identifying the demographic profile of Fessenden shoppers, examining important and less important services for patron shoppers of Fessenden, identifying neighboring cities that area shoppers patronize, determining distances area shoppers traveled to Fessenden, and listing popular newspapers and radio stations among area residents. Current trade area information for Fessenden 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 Fessenden population, retail sales, per capita income, pull factors, and Wells County population and employment were identified and discussed. Fessenden's trade area population, retail sales, and pull factor, along with Wells County population, average annual employment, and per capita income have all decreased throughout the 1980s. Fessenden has experienced large decreases in its retail sales and pull factor; however, Fessenden was fortunate to experience a small population growth during a period when few North Dakota cities increased in population. Based on most economic measurements, Fessenden fared worse than other North Dakota cities with similar populations, and has fared similar to smaller competing trade centers. The economic situation found in Fessenden and Wells County is typical of the problems found in rural North Dakota communities in the 1980s. Fessenden'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 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. Fessenden's MTA increased in size by two townships, compared to MTA boundaries determined in 1974. 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 primarily employed in agriculture and professional/technical professions, and have resided in the area a large portion of their lives. Main trade area residents traveled an average of 7.9 and 7.2 miles to Fessenden to purchase selected convenience and specialty goods and services, respectively. Over half (61.4 percent) of the respondents who purchased 50 percent or more of convenience and specialty goods in Fessenden traveled between 6 to 15 miles to purchase the item. Fessenden appears to be capturing little of the potential market for most goods and services on the survey questionnaire. Fessenden's poor market capture can be partially explained by the close proximity of several larger competing trade centers and the relatively large decreases in its own retail activity in the 1980s. Fessenden does appear to be relatively important source for many of the survey goods and services for respondents shopping for those items in Fessenden. Harvey, Minot, Bismarck, New Rockford, Carrington, and Jamestown were the most popular cities for the purchase of nonagricultural goods and services by Fessenden MTA residents who did not purchase a majority of the good or service in Fessenden. Harvey and Carrington were popular for purchasing agricultural goods and services. Outshopping analysis revealed no substantial demographic or socioeconomic differences between Fessenden MTA residents purchasing 50 percent or more and those purchasing less than 50 percent of selected goods and services in Fessenden. Slight differences between groups were evident only in miles traveled. The Forum (Fargo) and The Minot Daily News were the most popular daily newspapers for both Fessenden MTA and GTA residents. The Harvey Herald was the most popular weekly newspaper for both Fessenden MTA and GTA residents. The most popular radio stations for Fessenden MTA residents included KFYR of Bismarck and KHND of Harvey. Fessenden has suffered from large decreases in its retail sales and pull factors during the 1980s, but appears to have increased its past trade area. Fessenden should remain an important trade center for residents in Wells County and the surrounding area.
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