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Retail internationalization and retail failure: issues from the case of Marks and Spencer

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Retail internationalization has attracted much attention in recent years as the scale and nature of the activity has changed. Most analysis of retail internationalization however is based on market entry and mainly successful businesses. Here, the internationalization strategy of Marks and Spencer over 30 years is examined. Its recent large-scale withdrawal from such activity is considered in the light of theories about internationalization and business failure. The complexity of market exit in retailing is emphasized. It is suggested that market exit and failure are important underresearched dimensions of retail internationalization. More detailed and careful work on market entry and withdrawal (failure?) is needed to adequately conceptualize the subject area.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2002

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