The internationalisation of retail

2015-09-21 | by Smollan

With retail entering an era of unprecedented change in both developed and developing markets, and with a number of the world’s leading grocery and health & beauty retailers facing challenging times in their core home markets, the role of globalisation is undergoing a period of re-evaluation.

Despite a renewed focus on solving problems at home, international markets are becoming increasingly important contributors to leading retailers’ sales. Internationalisation has been pushed by the largest players, with the top 10 seeing the largest increases in average number of markets and international sales. Many leading players will have a renewed appetite to expand into new markets over the next five years, with particular focus on regions such as the Middle East and Africa. However, they are also approaching market entry with caution, seeking expansion through joint ventures and franchise partnerships in order to limit risk.

Simultaneously, longer-term socio-demographic changes fuelled by advances in technology have created a new type of shopper. These shoppers care about proximity, convenience and value. The smartphone has given rise to even greater transparency on price as well as the convenience to shop anytime and anywhere (including making purchases to previously unavailable brands on the other side of the world).

Internationalisation has and will continue to change the face of retail in the years to come. Retailers will have to re-evaluate and measure the impact that globalisation will have on their local and international businesses, and re-look their strategies going forward.


Gregory, R. (2015) Internationalisation of Retail. The Consumer Goods Forum. Planet Retail. [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 11 September 2015].