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Regional Demographics Essay

Man Lee Oriental Food and Gift shop located in Terminal Avenue, their main customers are Asian students and people live in Nanaimo city. According to BC Stats and Statistics Canada, the regional population estimate for 2011 was 86,961. This represents an increase of 5497(6. 6 percent) in five years from 20071. BC Stats also states that international migration accounted for over 66 percent of the increased BC population2, and a large part of that gain (71 percent) was from Asian countries3. The increasing in population as well as immigration is expected to continue in the coming years. Population is not the only factor that increasing.

The median age for the regional population has increased over years and is expected to approach 45 by 2026. The mature labor force age population markedly increased over the last two decades, based on the influence of migration. The percentage of people aged 65+ in the population is also expected to rise. This reflects the popularity of Vancouver Island as a retirement destination. However, the proportion of people in the 5-17 and 18-24 age group is predicted to stay stabilize in the period to 20364. The increasing in population, especially Asian immigrants is opening an opportunities

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for Man Lee to develop and increase sales.

Sociocultural Factors There is a large community of Asian people in Nanaimo, especially Chinese. These people have different style of food and house decorations from North American. In addition, Nanaimo’s residents also show a high interest in Asian food. This brings chances for Asian grocery shops to increase the market share and profit by providing the unique Asian products. People are having more concerns about their health, therefore, foods nowadays not only need to be delicious but also healthy, organic, fresh and vegetarian products are preferred.

This might bring some threats to imported Asian foods which are often frozen. Provincial and National Economic Factors The Customer Price Index (CPI) of Canada and British Columbia has increasing gradually in the past decade from 2001 to 2011, last year; British Columbia’s CPI increased 1. 2 percent, while the number for the whole country was 1. 5 percent5. This inflation rate allow customer to maintain purchasing power as well as demand. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Canada expanded 0. 5 percent in the first quarter of 2012 over the previous quarter. In general, Canada GDP has been growing with the averaged rate of 0. 3 percent from 1961 to present6.

The sustainable development of the economy leads to the increase in citizen income, as well as brings chances for businesses. The most recent interest rate in Canada was reported as one percent, this helped to maintain businesses’ growing rate as well as create opportunities for new businesses to enter the market7. Regional Economic Factors The regional economy features a mix of urban, diversified industries and rural, resource-based industries. The Port of Nanaimo made the City the major service and distribution centre for central Vancouver Island.

In 2008, 82 percent of the labor force in Vancouver Island was employed in the services sector, the rest 18 percent was in the goods sector which includes utilities, agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, manufacturing and construction8. In 2006, the unemployment rate for Nanaimo was 7. 2 percent, slightly higher than the provincial average of 6 percent. According to BC Stats, in 2006 the regional labor force participation rate was 61. 6 percent compared to a provincial rate of 65. 6 percent, and average income in 2005 was also lower than the provincial average (23,463 to 24,867)9.

While the City of Nanaimo has shown economic improvement, there are still strong reminders of economic hardship for many families. Although the proportion of low income families decreased 3. 2 percent from 15. 2 percent in 2001 to 12 percent in 200610, those families still exist in the community. Although there has been an increase in median income, which is a good sights for the activities of Man Lee, Nanaimo still have lower income in compare with the provincial level, in addition, there is still a number of families with low income, these factor might influence people’s spending trend.

Political/ Legal Factors As mentioned above in the national economic factors, the one percent interest rate which is set by the Bank of Canada’s Governing Council is one of the policies to support and encourage businesses to join the market. On the other side, the Canada’s high requirements for food safety and hygiene might cause problems for products from Asian countries, which are sometimes not meets this high level of standard. Stable laws and market environment create chances of fair competition for every business, however, this also raise the power of customer, which is not a good factor from firm’s point of view.

Global Environment: There are some current global issues which might strongly influence business activities of companies such as: – Environmental pollution: air quality and industrial waste discharged by companies outside environment is a matter of great interest today. Natural and environmentally friendly products are becoming more and more interested by customers. – The scarcity of raw materials: Raw materials increasingly scarce made the input prices of many products increased. – Although countries had measures to respond to global economic crisis, it still happening and has influenced both firms and customers.

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