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Revisiting retail internationalisation: Drivers, impediments and business strategy

Jody Evans (Melbourne Business School, Carlton, Australia)
Kerrie Bridson (Bowater School of Management and Marketing, Deakin University, Burwood, Australia)
John Byrom (School of Management, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Australia)
Dominic Medway (Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 28 March 2008




In the light of recent changes in the international environment, the purpose of this paper is to consider whether the drivers of, and impediments to, retail internationalisation and the business strategy adopted have also changed.


Interviews were conducted with 12 UK and US retailers. These exploratory data were combined with a review of the literature to explore changes in the drivers and impediments of retail internationalisation.


Findings of this study suggest that, while a variety of factors drive retail internationalisation, profit growth is the most dominant motivator. In terms of impediments to foreign expansion, domestic market conditions were a barrier to the initiation of foreign expansion, whilst the regulatory environment and previous experiences presented obstacles in the process of internationalisation. Interviewees also expressed a desire for increased standardisation, while acknowledging the need for a substantial degree of adaptation in response to cultural differences.

Research limitations/implications

The research findings are limited in terms of their generalisability.


Much of the existing research into retail internationalisation was conducted in the 1990s. Given the substantial changes that have occurred over the past 15 years, the value of this paper lies in the updating of knowledge.



Evans, J., Bridson, K., Byrom, J. and Medway, D. (2008), "Revisiting retail internationalisation: Drivers, impediments and business strategy", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 36 No. 4, pp. 260-280.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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