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International Market Selection among Swedish retailers: An exploratory study of how Swedish international retailers identify and select foreign markets
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In the wake of globalization, an increasing amount of firms must consider

internationalization strategies to remain competitive. The strategic decision of where to

expand is complex by nature. This is particularly true for retailers, and despite this being

generally accepted, relatively little is in fact known about retailers ́ choice of foreign

markets. Hence, this study investigates international market selection (IMS) strategies of

Swedish retailers with global operations. The purpose of this study is twofold; first, to

explore which criteria Swedish retailers use upon making international market selection

decisions and investigate the relative importance among these criteria. Second, to assess the

possibilities of creating a weighted IMS model for retailers, which can be use as guidance

for marketing practitioners. The research questions which will be answered are:

How do Swedish international retailers select foreign markets?

What are the possibilities of creating a weighted IMS model for retailers?

The study embraces a qualitative strategy with an exploratory research approach and a

multiple case study design. Through extensive literature review, a conceptual framework is

constructed, and subsequently developed, post gaining insight in practitioners’ reasoning.

The empirical data was gathered through interviews with managers of Swedish retailers with

international presence, as well as strategy consultants who routinely work with strategy

conformation for Swedish retailers. Our findings show that criteria which influence IMS

decisions among Swedish retailers are quite similar among firms and can be arranged under

three main categories; market attractiveness, psychic distance and internal factors.

Moreover, as a result of the empirical findings, we suggest previous IMS research lack one

important factor which influences the IMS decisions, namely “gut-feeling”/coincidence. The

relative importance among factors proved to vary among firms. Consequently, four concepts

aiming at explaining the variations were developed. The four concepts include firm size, firm

objective, industry of the firm, and ownership structure. Finally, with support from

respondents, we arrived at a conclusion suggesting that construction of a weighted IMS

model for all types of retailers is unfeasible. However, if the scope is limited to only include

firms of similar characteristics as proposed by the four concepts, such model could

potentially yield solid validity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 71 p.
Keyword [en]
international market selection, international market segmentation, international retailing, international marketing, international marketing management, international strategy, internationalization, international market entry, international expansion
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-123348OAI: diva2:945507
Educational program
International Business Program
Available from: 2016-07-04 Created: 2016-07-01 Last updated: 2016-07-04Bibliographically approved

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