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Internationalism: The Impact of the European Union: A Study of the Food Retail Sector.

Myers, Hayley A. (1996) Internationalism: The Impact of the European Union: A Study of the Food Retail Sector. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

The research considers the perceptions of European food retailers regarding potential expansion policies, the opportunities for food retailers to follow a strategy of internationalisation, the likely direction of expansion, and the factors that determine it. Prominence is placed upon the potential for internationalisation within Europe in the post-1992 environment. The study of retail internationalisation has been criticised for a lack of empirical work. This research addresses the call for more empirically based analysis of retail internationalisation, and especially of single sectors. The food retail sector was focused upon for a number of reasons, in particular because observationally based research has suggested that food retailers are reluctant to internationalise, and even when they do it is for predominantly reactive reasons. The establishment of the Single European Market in 1992 has served to focus attention on the changing environment within the European Union. It has been suggested that the SEM would accelerate rates of internationalisation, thus the timing of the survey added a further dimension. As well as evaluating the contemporary nature of the European food retail industry and where they perceived growth opportunities, retailers were asked to consider the direction of future trends. The data collection comprised three stages. Initially interviews were carried out with senior executives of large food retail companies in the six European Union countries of; France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK. The information was used to construct a questionnaire which was sent to a larger group of respondents. Subsequent analysis revealed a need for further information and so a Delphi style survey was conducted to provide insight into the results. The research seeks to evaluate the extent to which European food retailers will follow a strategy of internationalisation and the relative importance of proactive motivations. Observation of previous international activity reported in the literature suggests that the direction of international retail expansion is determined by three factors of geography, culture and economic development. The findings are analysed in the light of previous research to produce a conceptual framework which suggest that over time European food retailers move from a reluctant, through cautious, to an ambitious stage in their international development The concept of consumer convergence within the European market and the implications for the process of internationalisation are addressed. The nature of the SEM is analysed in the light of empirical evidence suggesting that national borders are perceived to be becoming less important determinants of consumer segments within the European market. The idea that the process of internationalisation undergoes change within the environment of a Free Trade Area is discussed and the concept of regionalisation as opposed to internationalisation is analysed. Areas of future research to explore the conclusions and concepts developed in the research and to further debate are suggested.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Myers, Hayley A.
Date : 1996
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 1996.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 06 May 2020 14:15
Last Modified : 06 May 2020 14:18
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/856083

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