Naturally, I thought of that when reading this study that attempts to mathematically model what store owners have known forever:
Physicist Pablo Jensen from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Lyon, France, analysed location records for more than 8500 retail outlets in the city. He found that the shops formed clusters, with shops such as butchers and delicatessens in one group, for example, and laundromats and bookstores in another. Stores of the same group seemed to attract each other, while stores from different groups repelled each other.Butchers and bakers seem to do well together. No word, though, on candlestick makers.
Jensen then adapted a theory of magnetism to calculate a number, Q, for shops, based on the proximity of attractive and repellent businesses in the area....
Jensen calculated Q for all the bakeries in Lyon in 2003 and 2005. During that period 19 bakeries shut down, and Jensen found their average Q was significantly lower than the average for all bakeries.