Trade is one of the key factors determining sustainable city development and its surroundings. City development is a result of provision of goods and services to city inhabitants, and residents of its surrounding areas. Retail trade in Poland belongs to economy sectors in which the processes of market changes were started the earliest. Discount stores that apply the strategy of low prices in the in the process of market conquering are currently one of the most dynamically developing selling formats. These shopping facilities are located in many Polish cities, including small towns and rural areas. The aim of the article is to show the scale of investments in new discount shops in small towns and rural areas in Poland in 2012–2015. Research focused at devoted to this field is important from the point of view of choosing the location of new investments related to discount chains and of the small towns and rural areas development strategies. Identification of consequences of discount chains operations in chosen rural areas and small towns can impact the verification of the policy adopted by local authorities in relation to spatial planning and forming the functional structure of the space. It will result in more conscious (rational) decisions in terms of localizing new discounts, which will reduce the number of local conflicts related to location of such facilities.
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