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Identifying the characteristics of small specialist international retailers

Identifying the characteristics of small specialist international retailers Purpose – This paper seeks to examine the internationalisation process of small, specialist retailers with the aim of identifying the key characteristics that define this specific category of international retailer. Design/methodology/approach – Qualitative case studies of nine UK‐based small international retailers, coupled with interviews with government and consultancy organisations, form the empirical basis of the work. Findings – The findings highlight five characteristics of small specialist international retailers: possession of a strong company brand image/identity with luxury/middle market appeal; niche strategy; dual strategy of expansion; ownership characteristics defined either by the founder or parent company; and vertical integration from manufacturing to retailing. Practical implications – With the increasing internationalisation of retail operations, the specialist sector comprises a significant number of retailers operating in international markets or contemplating the move into the international marketplace. The findings of the current work highlight the key factors that characterise those small specialist firms that operate outside their domestic market. Originality/value – The paper identifies the key characteristics that define a significant category of international retailer, hitherto unexplored in the literature. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Business Review Emerald Publishing

Identifying the characteristics of small specialist international retailers

European Business Review , Volume 23 (3): 14 – May 17, 2011

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0955-534X
DOI
10.1108/09555341111130272
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper seeks to examine the internationalisation process of small, specialist retailers with the aim of identifying the key characteristics that define this specific category of international retailer. Design/methodology/approach – Qualitative case studies of nine UK‐based small international retailers, coupled with interviews with government and consultancy organisations, form the empirical basis of the work. Findings – The findings highlight five characteristics of small specialist international retailers: possession of a strong company brand image/identity with luxury/middle market appeal; niche strategy; dual strategy of expansion; ownership characteristics defined either by the founder or parent company; and vertical integration from manufacturing to retailing. Practical implications – With the increasing internationalisation of retail operations, the specialist sector comprises a significant number of retailers operating in international markets or contemplating the move into the international marketplace. The findings of the current work highlight the key factors that characterise those small specialist firms that operate outside their domestic market. Originality/value – The paper identifies the key characteristics that define a significant category of international retailer, hitherto unexplored in the literature.

Journal

European Business ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: May 17, 2011

Keywords: Retailing; Small enterprises; United Kingdom; International business

References

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