Globalization of European Retailing

Michael Wortmann

in The Market Makers

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199590179
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191724893 | DOI:
Globalization of European Retailing

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In this chapter, Michael Wortmann examines European retailing and its global expansion. Within the European Union, retail markets are still highly fragmented in many respects. The national retail systems in Europe are significantly different from one another, not only because of differences in consumer preferences, but also because of variations in regulations affecting retailing. Although now slowed by recession, the most rapid transformation in retailing has occurred in Eastern Europe, with West European retailers in many cases playing a leading role. Many of the changes in Europe mirror those in the USA, with the development of self-service, larger store size formats, horizontal expansion, and retailer-led efficiency gains in the supply chain. However, in no European country are these changes as advanced as in the USA. The higher level of regulation not only hampers these changes, but modifies them, leading to new and successful innovations in some cases. Wortmann focuses on retailing in four major countries. In France and the UK, retailing regulation has been relatively weak, so many of the trends have materialized to a much greater extent than in Italy, which has very rigid regulations. Germany is somewhere in between, attempting to limit store size, but not merchandising practices, which has led to the growth of small-store hard discounters, such as Aldi, the owner of Trader Joes in the USA. In part because of the limited opportunities to expand domestically, some of the major European retailers have been leaders in the global expansion of retailing. The chapter includes short case studies of some of the major European retail innovators, such as Carrefour, Aldi, Metro, and Tesco.

Keywords: European retailing; market share of European retailers; Carrefour; Aldi; Metro; Tesco; internationalization of European retailers

Chapter.  16307 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Business

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