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Research proposal - The retail Internationalization process: A case study of Tesco

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The retail Internationalization process: A case study of Tesco

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Amiably, global and or international retailers such as Tesco do emphasize the cognitive aspects of the retail internationalization process. There can be about Tesco’s utilization of research teams within countries in order to monitor consumption behavior prior to their acquisition of some other Tesco retail based chains. There focus towards the buying behavior of customers within Tesco along with substantial application to retail process in global composition.

Case study analysis play a vital role in understanding more on retail processes that Tesco is a part of and effective in terms strategic means and marketing base. Although limited detailed empirical or conceptual research on international retail learning (Clarke and Rimmer, 1997). Indeed, learning has played an important role in shaping the way retail companies behave in practice; comparatively few studies actually address international retail process as well as learning.


The aim of this study will be to understand, realize and execute certain dimensions of international retail experience and how the latter shape or inform the strategic decision making process within Tesco’s case. Aside, to be able to provide an in-depth analysis of Tesco’s components of overall research framework this will be in relation to international activities of Tesco. The experience of Tesco’s dimensions make a distinction between the internal corporate and the wider external view of international retail experience.

The need to apply cases that pertain to Tesco’s internal strategic processes as well as its external strategic processes. To understand the interactive aspects of the retailers’ international environment. To be able to consider Tesco’s internal operational function. To impose attention to case study approach as the core for methodology assessment and be relative to details of retail process research at Tesco.


-      To understand retailers with regards to their experience of Tesco and such retail based operations

-      To be aware of degree that Tesco knowledge has been absorbed how do these shape decision making and learning behavior of Tesco by means of case study applications.

-      To understand Tesco customers buying behavior, the aspects of behavior that link directly to TESCO retail process

-      To realize retail internationalization advantage of TESCO and other important matters

-      To recognize research tenets based on retail internationalization advantage at TESCO

-      To investigate retail internationalization dimensions/factors affecting customer behavior at TESCO

-      To assimilate preliminary literature studies and realistic case studies of TESCO’s retail internationalization process


Tesco’s retail process penetration, repeat buying of product at the same store group, multi-store buying all follow the same theoretical patterns as have been established previously for brands. Retail choice is like brand choice. Retailing ways at to Tesco brand within particular chain is known as customers spread purchases of the product extensively to other brands and other chains directly in line with market shares. Thus, it is important to have methodological ideology when dealing with buying behavior patterns of such brands as it is ideal to compare levels of service, brand and store image cues, brand empowerment and quality the retailer brings. TESCO is good at selling dry goods while Wal-Mart is known for wet based goods, and how it affects the buying behavior of consumers with special attention to branding assimilation. It can be recommended that this research will be a mixture of methods and will utilize both qualitative and quantitative approach despite case study dominance.

For methodology, case study analysis surveys will be used such as pointing salient information from literature organization and to have imperative ideologies and research philosophies to work well in time. The core method will cater to retail internationalization process at Tesco in lieu to feasible case study analysis and interpretation. This will be TESCO customers as respondents. A Total of 150 respondents will be asked in a matter of case study survey format; this will be in statement like response choices, focusing on aspects of their buying behavior toward brands of TESCO, comparing it to other brands such as in Wal-Mart, to possibly point out similarities and differences of buying behavior on certain products and services offered.

Literature review

The case of Tesco also indicates that the internationalization process of retail multinationals is not always a progressive and straightforward process (Alexander and Quinn, 2002; Burt et al., 2002, 2003; Mellahi et al., 2002). The findings add new insights into the complexity of the international retail divestment process. It appears that Tesco had learned rather valuable lessons from experiences, while other retailers’ international market withdrawals provided an opportunity to observe overt behavior. Alexander and Myers (2000) have remarked that the differences between ethnocentric and geocentric operating structures will impact the international learning process. Tesco viewed their early international moves abroad as business extension and redirection of free cash flow limiting organizational learning opportunities (Palmer, 2002).

Tesco were initially unclear and less confident about the most appropriate corporate model with which to proceed. Effectively, Tesco passed through a number of iterations of organizational structure upon adopting hybrid structure between centralized and decentralized operations, before ultimately adopting an aggressively industrial model. Retail internationalization process for known advantage do represent clear assumption  as there see it as primarily attitude based phenomenon that can be influenced significantly by customer relationship management initiatives such as the increasingly popular loyalty and affinity programs.

However, empirical research shows that loyalty in competitive repeat purchase markets is shaped more by the passive acceptance of brands than by strong attitudes about them. From research perspective, demand enhancing potential of loyalty programs is more limited than might be hoped. Reviews three different perspectives on retail loyalty upon relating to such tenets that impart understanding customer loyalty that encompasses customer brand commitment, customer brand acceptance and customer brand buying. Discusses where programs might work and where they are unlikely to succeed on any large scale, providing useful checklist for marketers.

Aside, retail customer based schemes have been focus of retail marketing activity over the years; established retailers have struggled to stem the flow of ‘defections’ to various discount formats. Tesco dimension schemes can be expensive, as retailing tactics were integrated and with long term approach. There require clear understand of retail process and concepts and certain determinants of customer behavior and loyalty to Tesco. There adheres to the characteristic of potential customers at TESCO that can be better with other retailers like ASDA and Wal-Mart respectively (McGoldrick and Andre, 1997, pp. 73-81).

For concrete example, importance of packaging design as vehicle for communication and branding is growing in competitive markets for packaged food products. Research will utilize focus group methodology to understand consumer behavior toward such products and how packaging elements can affect buying decisions. Visual package elements play major role, representing the product for many consumers, especially in low involvement, and when they are rushed. Most focus group participants say they use label information, but they would like it if simplified. The challenge can be to integrate packaging into an effective purchasing decision model, by understanding packaging elements as important marketing communications tools.

In addition, Wrigley (2000), Burt and Sparks (2001) and Burt et al. (2002) suggest that the existing conceptualization neither adequately capture the multiplicity and difficulties in the retail internationalization process, nor explain the variety of approaches to internationalization being used by retailers. The capacity for cross-border sourcing is generally seen as one of the long term “strategic” justifications for cross-border consolidation in food retailing (Wrigley, 2002; Palmer, 2002). Extracting synergies and greater coordination across borders that include ideal move toward price harmonization increasingly being used as justification for international retail acquisitions.

For Tesco, global sourcing was largely played down. Instead, the company emphasized that the debate concerning sourcing efforts did not shift the emphasis away from their core competencies, which were considered more important within the international landscape. Tesco have deliberately strived to occupy the top three position in all of their international markets. Tesco have performed less well and in some instances exited the market where they could not reach a sufficiently critical size. Tesco’s actual sourcing efforts within the broader international context also shows several visible attempts by the company to aggregate scale across multiple markets and establishing regional presence in contiguous markets. Tesco has encouraged local food suppliers to develop retail brands, under the Tesco own brand.

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Alexander, N. (1997), International Retailing, Blackwell Publishers, Oxford.

Alexander, N. and Myers, H. (2000), “The retail internationalization process”, International Marketing Review, Vol. 17 No. 4/5, pp. 334-53.

Alexander, N. and Quinn, B. (2002), “International retail divestment”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 112-25.

Burt, S. and Sparks, L. (2001), “The implications of Wal-Mart’s takeover of Asda”, Environment and Planning A, Vol. 33 No. 8, pp. 1463-87.

Burt, S.L., Dawson, J. and Sparks, L. (2003), “Failure in international retailing”, International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 355-73.

Burt, S.L., Mellahi, K., Jackson, T.P. and Sparks, L. (2002), “Retail internationalization and retail failure: issues from the case of Marks & Spencer”, International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 191-219.

Clarke, I. and Rimmer, P. (1997), “The anatomy of retail internationalization: Daimaru’s decision to invest in Melbourne, Australia”, The Service Industries Journal, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 361-82.

McGoldrick P and Andre E (1997) Consumer misbehavior: Promiscuity or loyalty in grocery shopping. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services. Vol. 4 Issue 2 April 1997, pp. 73-81

Mellahi, K., Jackson, T.P. and Sparks, L. (2002), “An exploratory study into failure in successful organizations: the case of Marks & Spencer”, British Journal of Management, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 15-29.

Palmer, M. (2002), “Corporate interaction and learning during the retail internationalization process: a study of multinational retailer expansion”, unpublished PhD thesis, Faculty of Business and Management, University of Ulster, Coleraine.

Palmer, M. (2002), International Restructuring and Divestment: The Experience of Tesco, Marketing and Retailing Working Paper Series, Faculty of Business and Management, University of Ulster, Coleraine, pp. 1-33.

Palmer, M. and Quinn, B. (2003), “The strategic role of investment banks in the retail internationalization process: is this venture marketing?” The European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 37 No. 10, pp. 1391-408.

Palmer, M. and Quinn, B. (2005), “An exploratory framework of analyzing international retail learning”, International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 27-55.

Palmer, M. and Sparks, L. (2004), “Investment bank analysts and retail research”, Environment and Planning A, Vol. 36 No. 9, pp. 1521-28.

Wrigley, N. (2000), “The globalization of retail capital: themes from economic geography”, in Clark, G., Gertler, M. and Feldman, M. (Eds), Handbook of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, London.

Wrigley, N. (2002), “The landscape of pan-European food retail consolidation”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 81-91





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