Understanding the international retail divestment process

Patricia Cairns, Anne Marie Doherty, Nicholas Alexander, Barry Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To explore how retailers manage and respond to the whole of the divestment process, considering how they take the decision to divest international operations, the process of divestment, the effect of divestment and the response to divestment.
Employs an interpretive, qualitative approach to examine the international retail divestment process with 32 in-depth interviews, focusing on the experience of one company to facilitate greater understanding of the connection between events, illustrate the richness of the data and emphasize the triangulation of current and ex-employee perspectives.
Five fundamental issues affect the process of divestment: an inward-looking corporate culture, the need for stability in the domestic market, negative consequences of persevering with a failing strategy internationally, new management and entry mode strategy. Finds that changes in management are a prior condition for divesting and that the entry method by employed by the firm is key to the divestment decision, remarking that when the case company focused its strategy on its core domestic business, owned store operations abroad no longer fitted with the strategic operation of the firm and were divested, these being stores that had been acquired, established through joint-venture or added to the operation on a store-by-store basis.
By examining the process in a more holistic manner, identifies that there may be myriad reasons which affect the decision to divest internationally. In future research, advocates the use of the qualitative method to research this type of sensitive topic and using case studies to explore whether these stages are relevant to other retail firms or sectors.
Argues that divestment should be viewed as an integral element of internationalization strategy which, over time, is likely to become part of overall company strategy.
Conceptualizes the process of divestment based on in-depth qualitative primary research using four stages: decision, process, strategic reorientation and response.
LanguageEnglish
Pages111-128
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Strategic Marketing
Volume16
Issue number2
Early online date22 May 2008
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Fingerprint

Retail
Divestment
Strategic Reorientation
International operations
Decision process
Strategic response
Entry mode
Triangulation
Domestic market
Employees
Integral
Interpretive
Qualitative methods
Internationalization strategy
Organizational culture
In-depth interviews
Retailers
Qualitative approaches
Joint ventures

Keywords

  • international retail
  • divestment process
  • divestment
  • international trade
  • retailing

Cite this

Cairns, Patricia ; Doherty, Anne Marie ; Alexander, Nicholas ; Quinn, Barry . / Understanding the international retail divestment process. In: Journal of Strategic Marketing. 2008 ; Vol. 16, No. 2. pp. 111-128.
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Understanding the international retail divestment process. / Cairns, Patricia; Doherty, Anne Marie; Alexander, Nicholas; Quinn, Barry .

In: Journal of Strategic Marketing, Vol. 16, No. 2, 2008, p. 111-128.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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