I suspect this concept can be applied to shopping locations. Shoppers are like the wildlife in that they will not stray too far beyond retail areas looking for more shops, but will continue window shopping shop-to-shop.
The implication of this is that two shopping areas will not benefit from the wandering shoppers from each other unless there is a connection between them of shops (or that the shoppers are conscious of both locations); only a shop with a strong following (i.e. people conscious of it, and deciding to consciously visit it) can survive a poor location (i.e. not connected by a retail corridor), as it will not be stumbled upon by shoppers wandering outside their shopping habitat.