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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Restructuring of Wholesale and Retail Trade in Zimbabwe New District Service Centres
Author:Pedersen, Poul O.
Periodical:African Urban Quarterly (ISSN 0747-6108)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Southern Africa
Subjects:domestic trade
urban planning
Economics and Trade
Economics, Commerce
retail trade
wholesale trade
urban development
government policy
Abstract:In the course of development, the activities of service centres tend to become more and more specialized and differentiated. In the traditional service centre theories, such specialities are usually assumed to be determined by the size and structure of the demand. This paper analyses the growth and structural changes taking place in the commercial sector in district service centres in Zimbabwe, focusing especially on the distribution of farm input supplies. Based on data from two district service centres - Gutu/Mpandawana and Gokwe - in Zimbabwe's communal areas, the article shows that specialization and differentiation are as much a result of supply as of demand factors. Under the prevailing unstable conditions of limited capital, inconstant deliveries and insufficient transport capacity, the market is not determined by price competition alone. Instead competition is structured through a market segmentation between traders based on comparative advantages, sometimes in product or production, but often in credit and delivery services. The access for customers and small traders to the different supply channels is partly governed by patron-client relations. Bibliogr., notes, sum.