Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Cornhusker Economics January 24, 2017.


Copyright 2017 University of Nebraska.


Retailing is an important sector of our state’s economy and is watched carefully as an indicator of overall economic performance. This retailing activity, however, is not evenly distributed across different town/ city size classes. Large cities and towns serve as retail centers for larger geographic areas as well as for some nearby small towns. In other words, small trade centers experience trade leakage relative to their population and large centers experience retail gain relative to their population. Relative retail activity can be measured and hence compared using Pull Factor (PF) as a metric.

In essence, PF measures the relative market share of retailing by a specific geographic area over a specific time period. In this analysis, it is calculated by dividing the total annual per capita taxable retail sales for the local geographic area by the state average per capita sales which have occurred over the same time period.