I'm interested in the effect of corporate chains in suburban settings. My hometown, Vacaville, CA is saturated with corporate chains and suffers from a shortage of good local options. There are a few, but not adequate for a town of 100,000+ located near Davis and between Sacramento and San Francisco.
I've seen several other suburban towns with the same strip malls and "anchor stores", and generally wonder the physics (economics and sociology) at play in this phenomenon.
Hypothesis: Some large businesses have predatory effects on local business ecosystem. Small businesses tend to generate a local sprinkler effect, reinvesting money into the economy, where larger businesses funnel money back to corporate headquarter.
A bunch of research is needed to determine and create a sprinkler business map.