Figure 5.

The results of the spheres of influence study suggest that there is a difference in extent for the social & economic integration indicators tested. Social needs are met locally, while economic needs are not. Several phenomina may be interesting to consider. Telecommunications, including the internet, provide new opportunities for improved access to the marketplace. At the same time, deregulation of the wholesale retail structure (not unrelated to advancements in technologies) has allowed box stores to florish. Internet shopping, while convenient for the consumer, moves the time consuming and labor intensive activity of sorting individual orders to the wholesaler/retailer, as well as the delivery costs. Instead, 'box stores' have taken the advantage of the deregulation of the retail / wholesale market by providing goods to consumers on pallets, therefore reducing sorting and shelving costs. Consumers travel further to these store which are set up on the urban fringe in order to select goods for themselves. In addition, display booths are set up in box stores in order to take advantage of the access to consumers. Not only is consumption activity moving out of the core, but 'box stores' may be changing the quality of life for urban and rural residents, while increasing spheres of influence.