Academic journal article Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management

International Retailing Plans and Strategies in Asia

Academic journal article Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management

International Retailing Plans and Strategies in Asia

Article excerpt

JOHN DAWSON AND JUNG-HEE LEE (Eds.) 2004 International Retailing Plans and Strategies in Asia International Business Press ISBN: 13: 978-0-7890-2889-1 Co-published simultaneously as "Journal of Global Marketing" VoI 18, No's 1/2.

This book provides a much needed insight into the complexities and difficulties faced by traditional retailers in their quest for growth through expansion into non-traditional markets. Through a selection of case studies, "International Retailing Plans and Strategies in Asia", provides an interesting and thoughtful view of the many factors that plague international retailers as they enter new markets, specifically, the growing Asian markets. The volume highlights the need to acknowledge, for example, the various cultural idiosyncrasies found within Asian nations and the innate difficulties found in supply chain management within nations that may have limited telecommunications and road infrastructure.

The central theme of the book focuses on how foreign retailers learn to adapt to Asian markets and the ability of these organisations to recognise that different nations within Asia have different cultural beliefs, customs, and infrastructure. This central tenant is extrapolated in order to identify a number of intricacies that entrants into new markets need to be cognisant of. These cases are very interesting in that they identify: three generic hurdles faced by foreign companies; a need for new entrants to learn from their mistakes, and suggests potential reasons why these organisations fail to learn from earlier experiences.

Another interesting case, by Nobukazu Azuma, considers the issues of imitation, innovation and competition within the Asian fashion industry, within the contexts of market orientation and supply chain management. One point of particular significance within the case is the observation that in much of the literature relating to market orientation, only the single organisation is considered. Ultimately, Azuma identifies that supply chains within Asia have similar goals to that of other supply chains in that it too must aim to deliver the, "wanted style at the right time in the right place, with required variety and affordability and more room for customisation." This case develops an understanding of the dynamism required in the retail fashion industry if retailers within Asian markets are to harness the benefits from integrated supply chain management, through both imitation and innovation.

The case by Dawson on page 73 considers the level and nature of restructuring within the European retail industry and how this affects retailing within Asian economies. The research is comprised of a number of main areas including an introduction to the role of retailing and the implications of change facing the European industry. The issue of culture is considered from both a consumer and management perspective and demonstrates the inter-relationships between many complex aspects of local management and consumer market culture. In concluding, Dawson succinctly explains the main findings, and reasoning for the increasing focus on 'experience innovation' as opposed to traditional innovation.

Another case relating to Japanese retailing is that by Roy Larke. He considers the moves of a number of Japanese retailers in their efforts to enter other Asian markets, in particular, China. Given the size of the market and the apparent level of expansion by Japanese retailers this study concludes by highlighting three distinct phases in the Japanese expansion into Asian markets. These phases resemble those discussed earlier by Dawson in relation to the European market and lend credibility to both arguments and help to remind the reader of one of the books themes, the ever increasing expansion in to Asia by traditional retailers needs to consider cultural differences. …

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