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為什么同行喜歡把店鋪開在一起呢?

  Why are gas stations always built right next to other gas stations?

  為什么那些加油站都開在一起呢?

  Why can I drive for a mile without finding a coffee shop,and then stumble across three on the same corner?

  為什么開車開了一里路也沒有看到一家咖啡館,然后突然轉個彎在路口就能碰到三家咖啡館?

  Why do grocery stores,auto repair shops and restaurants always seem to exist in groups,instead of being spread evenly throughout a community?

  為什么那些雜貨店,自主修理店還有餐館通常似乎是成群出現的,而不是零星得分布在整個社區里呢?

  《酒店業的空間競爭》的故事可以解釋

  While there are several factors that might go into deciding where to place your business,clusters of similar companies can be explained by a very simple story called Hotelling's Model of Spatial Competition.

  盡管我們決定在哪里做生意確實需要考慮幾個因素,但是同行的聚集現象可以用一個名為《酒店業的空間競爭》的故事可以解釋。

  Imagine that you sell ice cream at the beach.Your beach is one mile long and you have no competition.Where would you place your cart in order to sell the most product?

  設想一下你在一個海灘賣冰淇淋。這個海灘有一英里長,而且也沒有其他的小商販同你競爭。那么為了能夠賣出最多的冰淇淋,你應該把攤位設在那個位置呢?

  In the middle.The one-half-mile walk may be too far for some people at each end of the beach,but your cart serves as many people as possible.

  當然是設在中間了。半里路對于海灘每個邊上的人們來說都不算很遠,這樣你的攤位就可以服務到盡可能多的人了。

  One day you show up at work just as your cousin Teddy is arriving at the beach with his own ice cream cart.In fact,he's selling exactly the same type of ice cream as you are.

  有一天,你正在你的攤位上忙碌著,這時你的堂弟泰德也來到這個海灘擺起了攤位。事實上,他正在售賣的冰淇淋和你賣的一模一樣。

  You agree that you will split the beach in half.In order to ensure that customers don't have to walk too far,you set up your cart a quarter mile south of the beach center,right in the middle of your territory.

  于是你同意將海灘分一半給泰德。為了確保顧客不會走太遠的路,你把攤位設在距離海岸中心南邊四分之一里遠的地方,剛好就在你的領地的正中間。

  Teddy sets up a quarter mile north of the center,in the middle of Teddy territory.With this agreement,everyone south of you buys ice cream from you.Everyone north of Teddy buys from him,and the 50%of beachgoers in between walk to the closest cart.

  泰德把攤位設在距離海灘中心北邊的四分之一里的地方,正好在特德的地盤的中心位置。根據這個協議,南邊的顧客就從你那邊買冰淇淋,北邊的顧客就去泰德那邊買。在這兩個攤位中間區域有百分之五十的顧客可以選擇最近的攤位。

紐約時報中英文網 http://www.244129.buzz



  No one walks more than a quarter of a mile,and both vendors sell to half of the beachgoers.

  這樣的話,每個人都不用走超過四分之一里的路程,而每一個攤位都可以擁有海灘上一半的顧客。

  博弈理論家認為這是一種社會選擇的理論

  Game theorists consider this a socially optimal solution.It minimizes the maximum number of stepsany visitor must takein order to reach an ice cream cart.

  博弈理論家認為這是一種社會選擇的理論。這種理論能夠最大程度的減少每位顧客到達冰淇淋攤位所需要的走的路程。

  The next day,when you arrive at work,Teddy has set up his cart in the middle of the beach.You return to your location a quarter mile south of center,and get the 25%of customers to the south of you.

  過了一天,當你到達海灘準備開始做生意的的時候,泰德早已經把攤位放在了海灘的中間。你只好又回到你的領地,去爭取南邊百分之25的顧客。

  Teddy still gets all of the customers north in Teddy territory,but now you split the 25%of people in between the two carts.

  泰德依舊能夠獲得北邊自己領地的所有的顧客,而此時此刻你只能爭取兩個攤位之間的區域的百分之25的顧客。

  Day three of the ice cream wars,you get to the beach early,and set up right in the center of Teddy territory,assuming you'll serve the 75%of beachgoers to your south,leaving your cousin to sell to the 25%of customers to the north.

  到了冰淇淋之戰的第三天,你早早地就到了海灘,把攤位放在了泰德的領地的正中間,并假設你會為這個海灘上百分之75的人群服務,而你的堂弟只能把冰淇淋賣給北邊剩余百分之25的顧客。

  When Teddy arrives,he sets up just south of you stealing all of the southerly customers,and leaving you with a small group of people to the north.

  當泰德到達海灘的時候,就把攤位擺在了你占領的位置的南邊,把北邊那一小群顧客留給了你。

紐約時報中英文網 http://www.244129.buzz



  Not to be outdone,you move 10 paces south of Teddy to regain your customers.When you take a mid-day break,Teddy shuffles 10 paces south of you,and again,steals back all the customers to the far end of the beach.

  這還沒有結束,你往泰德的位置的南邊移了10步,搶了一些顧客回來。當你休息的時候,泰德又往你的南邊移了10步,把你偷走的顧客又全部都奪了回來,甚至連海邊最遠的地方的顧客都能服務到。

  Throughout the course of the day,both of you continue to periodically move southtowards the bulk of the ice cream buyers,until both of you eventually end up at the center of the beach,back to back,each serving 50%of the ice-cream-hungry beachgoers.

  這么一天下來,你們兩個人間歇都沖著客戶群體往南邊移動,一直到最后,你們都移到了海灘的中間,為各自那一半海灘的冰淇淋購買者服務。

  At this point,you and your competitive cousin have reachedwhat game theorists call a Nash Equilibrium,the point where neither of you can improve your positionby deviating from your current strategy.

  此時,你和你的競爭者堂弟所處的狀態被博弈理論家稱之為“納什均衡”,而在這個狀態下,你們兩個無論采取其他的任何方法都沒有辦法再優化自己的擺攤位置了。

  Your original strategy,where you were each a quarter mile from the middle of the beach,didn't last,because it wasn't a Nash Equilibrium.Either of you could move your cart towards the otherto sell more ice cream.

  你們最初采取的策略,就是占據在各自領地中心即離海邊四分之一里的地方,這種策略并沒有維持多久,是因為沒有達到所謂的“納什平衡”。因為你們倆中任何一個人都可以向對方的領域走以賣出更多的冰淇淋。

  With both of you now in the center of the beach,you can't reposition your cart closer to your furthest customerswithout making your current customers worse off.

  現在你們兩個人都處在海岸的中間,你們已經沒有辦法向距離最遠的顧客移動而不損失掉現有的客戶群。

  However,you no longer have a socially optimal solution,since customers at either end of the beach,have to walk further than necessary to get a sweet treat.

  然而,你們也不再需要社會選擇原理,因為在這個海灘上任何一邊的人都需要走足夠遠才能買到冰淇淋。

  Think about all the fast food chains,clothing boutiques,or mobile phone kiosks at the mall.Customers may be better served by distributing services throughout a community,but this leaves businesses vulnerable to aggressive competition.

  想想看,所有的連鎖快餐店,服裝精品店或者購物中心的電話亭。如果這些店鋪分散開在一個社區里的話,顧客也許會獲得更好的服務,但是這樣也會容易引起惡性競爭。

  In the real world,customers come from more than one direction,and businesses are free to compete with marketing strategies,by differentiating their product line,and with price cuts,but at the heart of their strategy,companies like to keep their competition as close as possible.

  在現實世界中,顧客可能是來自四面八方的,各項業務也是在不同的市場策略下自由競爭的,比如說生產線的不同,價格的優惠程度都會產生競爭。但是他們策略的核心,還是盡可能在地域上靠近競爭者。
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