Retail Internationalisation

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Less than thirty years ago, almost every existing retailer in the world, was a pure national firm with an insignificant share in overseas markets. That scenario has evolved dramatically. Today, Internationalisation proves to be one of the most significant trends within retailing and although it is not a new concept altogether, it is a concept that has accelerated tremendously within the last two decades (Hanf and Pall. 2009: 2) The following paper aims to provide an insightful discussion on the concept of Retail Internationalisation and the factors that retailers need to be wary of when considering global expansion as an option (Corbishley. 2012: 8) This paper will not discuss all of the factors that retailers ought to consider, but will rather focus on three of these, specifically: (1) Motives for internationalising; (2) Methods of market entry; and lastly (3) strategic approaches to internationalisation. After a great deal of research into the international approach to retailing, I have compiled the following paper: Retail Internationalisation

Moore and Fernie (2004: 3) claim that retailing is a market activity that is principally domestic in nature and is immensely carried out within a single country or within a single region/district but Wiersema et al (2007: 115) points out that “One of the most important evolutions in the world economy over the past two decades has been the growing Internationalisation of retail markets and industries” We no longer operate within an isolated retail environment (Corbishley. 2012: 8) and this therefore has given rise to the concept of Retail Internationalisation. Definition: “Retail Internationalisation is a process of increasing involvement in cross-national retailing operations, which requires the commitment of resources and the adaptation to international markets, changing the attitude of the firm and influencing the decisions on further internationalisation” (Hanf and Pall. 2009: 3)

There has been minimal academic development leading to an explanation of how, why and where retailers internationalise. Most studies on internationalisation begin with the assumption that manufacturers have the option to export where as retailers do not have that option and thus have to be physically present within the country in which they wish to carry out their business ventures (Sternquist. 2007: 38) The development of an informative theory of retail internationalisation has been limited by the fact that most researchers assume that the same type of internationalisation occurs amongst all retailers and also due to the observation of only the successful international moves of retailers in comparison to both the successful international moves as well as the international failures of retailers (Sternquist. 2007: 38) Time-consuming, risky, complex and expensive, these are the predominant descriptors of the retail internationalisation process (Kostova. 2008: 42) Although Retail Internationalisation is often frowned upon, retailers are constantly looking to other countries to aid their global development strategies (Corbishley. 2012: 8) But in order to successfully internationalise their retail operations, retailers need to be mindful of the many factors that affect the process of retail internationalisation, Firstly, for instance, the motives for internationalising. Motives for Internationalising

As stated by Evans et al (2008: 261), the motives or drivers of international retailing have for many years been branded by a variety of terms, for example, as Push and pull factors, Internal and external drivers as well as proactive and reactive motivations. Hutchinson et al (2007: 96) describes that the motives behind international retail activity has been a vital subject within the study of retail internationalisation. Retailers choose to expand their business ventures for numerous reasons (Sternquist. 2007: 9), for the purpose of this paper, these motives or reasons for...
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