Institutional and economic determinants of transnational retailer expansion and performance: a comparative analysis of Wal-Mart and Carrefour
In the context of a wave of retail foreign direct investment and increasing recognition across many disciplines of the profound developmental implications of transnational retail within the global economy, this paper examines the institutional and economic factors determining the performance of transnational retailers via a comparative analysis of the two global leaders in the industry, Wal-Mart and Carrefour. A conceptual framework is offered for explaining the heterogeneity of retailer performance in international markets, and three types of explanation are considered: the timing and mode of market entry and subsequent expansion, factors that allow the exercise of upstream market power, and sensitivity to issues of labour organization and standards. The two retailers are found to be differentially impacted by those factors, indicating the need to consider a process of institutional hybridization as central to the explanation of transnational retail performance.
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