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Our research provides a novel perspective by examining the effect of both economic factors and non-economic factors such as place image on business location decisions. This paper expands the extant theory and practice by identifying and considering in addition to the economic factors, place image factors, i.e., sense of place, identity (retention factors) and brand image, visual image, and reputation (attraction factors). The most significant issue in quantitative studies such as facility location problems is the inability to identify qualitative factors previously considered nebulous correctly. The authors, with the help of a case study of Amazon’s Headquarters 2 location decision, contend that in addition to economic factors, image factors are important for strategic location decisions. Specifically, our analysis shows that Amazon’s decision to move a part of HQ2 to Arlington, Virginia can be explained through place image factors. We posit that place image should be given due consideration for strategic location decisions.

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Ashutosh Dixit

Ashutosh Dixit

Cleveland State University

Ashutosh Dixit, Ph.D. is a professor of Marketing in the Monte Ahuja College of Business, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio. He received his Bachelor of Technology degree in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, MBA from XLRI in...

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Candice Clouse

Candice Clouse

Cleveland State University

Candi Clouse, Ph.D. is the Director in the Center for Community Planning & Development at the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. Dr. Clouse has been with the University for 12 years. Her research concentrates on place image,...

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Nazli Turken

Nazli Turken

Cleveland State University

Nazli Turken, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management in the Monte Ahuja College of Business, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio. She received her B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University, and an M...

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