Edward A.N. Dakora*, Andrew J. Bytheway and AndrÃ© Slabbert
The internationalisation of retail businesses has become a global phenomenon as retailers around the world expand their operations beyond national borders. This phenomenon has attracted some academic attention. In Africa, South Africa appears to be more advanced in this regard, with Shoprite at the forefront of the Africanisation of South African retailers. A review of Shoprite’s expansion into the continent results in two propositions and some challenges that affect this process. The wider significance of the propositions is further examined by a study of other South African retailers expanding into Africa. The review finds that although there are opportunities for retailers in African countries, there are also significant challenges that can negate the opportunities. Most importantly, the chosen mode of entry into African countries plays a significant role in the overall internationalisation process and should be a primary concern of management teams considering making such a move, and it is established that the mode of entry comprises at least five areas of critical decision making.
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