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An Institutional Perspective on Retail Internationalization Success: Home Depot in Chile

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This study utilizes institutional theory to assess the effect of the host institutional environment on the success of internationalizing retailers. According to this framework, retailers succeed in international markets when they adapt their retail format and practices to the salient institutional norms in the host market and achieve legitimation from the relevant social actors. This framework was used in a case study of Home Depot's entry into Chile in 1998 and its exit three years later. Findings showed that Home Depot lacked legitimacy in Chile because they failed to offer the range of merchandise and store atmosphere demanded by the traditional family shopping activity, and because their management team did not embed themselves in the broader social network. It was also apparent the competition had anticipated and responded to Home Depot's source of competitive advantage and that Home Depot's scale was not great enough to command any advantages in the supply chain network.
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Keywords: Chile; Retail; home depot; internationalization; legitimacy; success

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Escuela de Negocios Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez Santiago Chile 2: Queen's School of Business Queen's University Kingston Canada

Publication date: 2004-04-01

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