Since global retailing is still at an early stage of development, we should not expect to see established patterns, of entry, development or models that confidently predict success. Rather, we should envisage a series of individual experiments, carried out over time by the leading protagonists, and gradually a corpus of core learning being acquired by those companies. This is what has happened. So far, however, we are a long way from seeing orthodox or established patterns. It is not possible to detect best practice either of market entry or business development. It is only latterly that individual business development models have started to collide with each other, producing markets where the international players are beginning to compete in a serious way. However, through the decade from 1990, and certainly through the first years of the 21st century, we can now see the interplay of competitive approaches, and we can certainly see the beginnings of winning entry strategies for some players. Additionally, the market has offered us some big losers, companies that have not merely had to exit from experimental entry in an international venture, but in some cases companies whose entire international strategy has collapsed, causing re-appraisal of the company’s capacity to compete globally — anywhere. The battle is now joined. There are twenty companies who see themselves as international competitors in food retailing in the years ahead, and half a dozen whose positions look for the moment reasonably secure.
KeywordsMarket Entry Home Market International Expansion Asset Sale Emergent Market
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