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Determinant factors of failures of international retailers in foreign markets

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This article seeks to identify why international retail chains (IRCs) sometimes fail to successfully establish operations in foreign markets. The study focuses on the quality of managerial decision-making as a cause of failure. Four such causes are identified relating to the quality of: (1) strategic decision-making, (2) tactical decision-making, (3) decision-making by the management of the local entity (LE), and (4) cooperation between the IRC and its LE. Based on survey data from Israel, we find that causes (1), (3) and (4) are most critical. These results highlight that to avoid retail failure, strategic decisions, such as ensuring clear, distinct and superior values adapted to local consumer preferences, should take precedence over tactical ones. Furthermore, to ensure high quality of local management and smooth cooperation with their LEs, IRCs should strive to control local management and coordination mechanisms.

Keywords: International retail failure; Israel; international retail strategy; retail divestments; retail joint ventures; retail partnership relationships

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Business Administration, College of Management, Israel

Publication date: February 1, 2007

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