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The primary data sources used in the construction of the database include:

• Current year AGS Consumer Expenditure Estimates
• Census of Retail Trade, Merchandise Line Sales
• Census Bureau Monthly Retail Trade

The Census of Retail Trade presents a table known as the Merchandise Line summary, which relates approximately 120 merchandise lines (e.g. hardware) to each of the store types. For each merchandise line, the distribution of sales by store type can be computed, yielding a conversion table which apportions merchandise line sales by store type.

The AGS Consumer Expenditure database was recomputed to these merchandise lines by aggregating both whole and partial categories, yielding, at the block group level, a series of merchandise line estimates which are consistent with the AGS Consumer Expenditure database.

These two components were then combined in order to derive estimated potential by store type. The results were then compared to current retail trade statistics to ensure consistency and completeness.