Multinational Retail Chains & the China Opportunity


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Case Details:

Case Code : BENV018
Case Length : 15 Pages
Period : 2001-2008
Pub Date : 2008
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Carrefour/ Tesco/ Wal-Mart
Industry : Retail
Countries : China

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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With the markets in North America and Western Europe approaching saturation, multinational companies (MNCs) are looking toward developing and emerging markets to spur future growth.

These markets account for 84% of the global population1 and are estimated to spend US$ 23 trillion dollars annually on consumer goods alone.

However, while they provide a huge opportunity to MNCs, the companies trying to tap these markets have met with mixed results. This is because these MNCs have often failed to understand the realities of operating in these markets.

MNCs in the retail industry -- which have been facing significant challenges since the mid-2000s in the developed markets -- are also readying themselves to tap the opportunities presented by the developing and emerging markets.

In addition to intense competition and increasing saturation of the market in their home country and traditional markets in the West, these MNCs have had to contend with factors such as a slowdown in the economy, change in consumer behavior as a result of the pricing environment2, limited space for expansion, etc.

In contrast, the retail industry in many developing and emerging markets is witnessing a boom.

These markets are in their initial phases of development and have provided the MNC retail chains with enough scope for growth for a long time to come.

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1] Gunjan Anurag and Kiran Murthi, "Dress Up or Born Again? The Developing and Emerging Market Opportunity: A CPG Context," www.marketingprofs.com, July 25, 2006.

2] Manufacturers, particularly in the grocery industry, were grappling with increasing commodity costs, and they were passing on the increased costs to the consumers.

 

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