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Wal‐Mart in Europe: prospects for the UK

Stephen J. Arnold (School of Business, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and)
John Fernie (School of Management, Heriot‐Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Article publication date: 1 August 2000



The purpose of this paper is to assess the long‐term opportunity (or lack thereof) for Wal‐Mart in the UK. Wal‐Mart is the world’s largest retailer and the UK market offers a logical next step following Wal‐Mart’s 1997 entry into the European market via Germany. Retail internationalisation is discussed and how Wal‐Mart might enter the UK market. Wal‐Mart’s North American growth is attributed to a unique organisational culture, low cost operating procedures and a significant consumer impact related to the determinant low price, assortment, service and community support store choice attributes. These attributes are discussed in a UK context and conclude that the UK workforce would respond positively to the front‐line empowerment of the “Wal‐Mart Way”. UK consumers also would support the unique Wal‐Mart retail proposition. In terms of efficient supply chains, however, Wal‐Mart will not offer any significant competitive advantage over UK retailers.



Arnold, S.J. and Fernie, J. (2000), "Wal‐Mart in Europe: prospects for the UK", International Marketing Review, Vol. 17 No. 4/5, pp. 416-432.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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