• commercial trade;
  • Guadalajara;
  • services;
  • Walmart


The location of trade and services in Guadalajara, Mexico, is in flux as suburban commercial centers compete with the traditional downtown for new businesses and employment. Since the mid-1990s a factor driving the change has been the introduction of American-style big-box retailers, corporate franchise supermarkets, and large suburban shopping malls. In this article I analyze the changing patterns of commercial and service businesses and employment from 1994 to 2004 in order to compare suburban and urban growth. My analysis includes comparative measures of change in neighborhoods immediately surrounding Walmart stores and by disaggregated types of commercial districts. Results indicate that a complementary relationship has developed: Suburbs are increasingly strong in the services, but the downtown remains a commercial hub. Moreover, some traditional small vendors in close proximity to Walmart may suffer, but growth in employment and in the service sector near Walmarts is high.