Heterogeneous Preferences and Location Choice with Multi-Product Firms
This paper investigates whether the principle of minimum differentiation extends to the location choices of multi-product firms of different sizes supplying differentiated goods to consumers with heterogeneous tastes. Our analysis explicitly allows for the possibility that the resulting location equilibria will be asymmetric, and we compare the multiproduct equilibria with the location configurations that would arise if each outlet were operated by a single-product firm. We show that multi-product firms disperse their products if consumer heterogeneity is low or distance between markets is high. They adopt more dispersed locations than single product firms to limit business stealing from their own outlets. Asymmetry is shown to characterize location configurations of both multi-product and single-product firms.
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