Foreign Retailers in China: Stories of Success and Setbacks
By Shuguang Wang and Paul Du
Retail internationalization has been a recurrent theme of research at the Centre for the Study of Commercial Activity (CSCA). The centre's research has included: studies of the impact of foreign retailers on the Canadian marketplace; provided comparisons of Canadian markets with other international markets; detailed case-studies of specific markets, including Barcelona, Dublin, Nagoya, Melbourne and Dallas - Forth Worth; provided specific international retailer profiles; and, undertaken broader-based analysis of the retail internationalization process. This report, the latest in the series on internationalization in China, provides a comprehensive analysis of foreign retail chains that have made the decision to operate in one of the fast growing consumer markets in the world. The aim of the report is to 'lift-the-lid' on the corporate activities and associated strategies of foreign retailers operating in China. The report highlights the key changes in the market and its regulatory environment that have enabled and encouraged foreign retail expansion. Drawing on government data, corporate press releases and media coverage, the report provides insight on the performance and market penetration of the major foreign retailers. It concludes by predicting the trends that are likely to shape the near future, including emerging business models for foreign retail enterprises and the response of domestic Chinese retailers to increased competition.