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Retail internationalisation: Marks and Spencer in Hong Kong

Paul Jackson (Coventry Business School, Coventry University, Coventry, UK)
Leigh Sparks (Institute for Retail Studies, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 1 October 2005




A case study of Marks and Spencer (M&S) in Hong Kong is used to explore aspects of the retail internationalisation process.


The case study is developed from four main sources. First, national and trade press commentary on M&S's internationalisation. Secondly, M&S's publications and statements about their international activities. Thirdly, previous research on M&S in Hong Kong, including work by the authors. Finally, informal interviews with current and former M&S management involved in the Hong Kong development. The case study is organised into a description of phases of exporting, store development and crises. This is followed by a discussion of the key internationalisation issues raised in terms of market entry, maintenance and exit. Conclusions follow.


The study emphasises that internationalisation is a non‐linear, ongoing, dynamic activity involving developments, impacts and retrenchment at a variety of levels. Implications for future research in the area are drawn.

Research limitations/implications

This is a case study of a particular retailer's internationalisation process in a particular country. The processes in other retailers operating other formats and selling other products and in other countries may be different. Further case studies will allow the generation of a wider understanding of the issues.


The case study provides previously unpublished information on the retail internationalisation process as a whole. It encourages other comparative studies and further research into the topic.



Jackson, P. and Sparks, L. (2005), "Retail internationalisation: Marks and Spencer in Hong Kong", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 33 No. 10, pp. 766-783.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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