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Archetypes of Driver Combinations Leading to Foreign Market Exit: An Investigation into European Grocery Retailing

David Schmid (), Finn de Thomas Wagner () and Dirk Morschett ()
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David Schmid: University of Fribourg
Finn de Thomas Wagner: University of Fribourg
Dirk Morschett: University of Fribourg

Management International Review, 2021, vol. 61, issue 4, No 3, 562 pages

Abstract: Abstract Existing research into retailers’ foreign market exits has uncovered a number of drivers that lead multinational retailers to divest from certain countries. While scholars have investigated these drivers in isolation from one another, combinations of drivers that affect divestment decisions simultaneously remain under-researched despite scholars having indicated their importance and having called for a detailed, more holistic analysis. In this study, using a case study approach and qualitative content analysis of a wide variety of publicly available contemporary documents from different perspectives and experts, we investigate the drivers leading to all 32 country exits of the 50 largest grocery retailers in Europe in the 5-year period between 2014 and 2018. In line with previous research, the study shows the most frequent exit drivers are a low performance of the subsidiary, a low performance of the parent company, and a strategic refocus of the parent company. However, we demonstrate that for most exits, combinations of multiple interrelated drivers at the subsidiary level, the host-country level, and the parent level have a joint influence on retailers’ decisions to exit foreign markets. We also show that exits often include both failure-related drivers and strategy-related drivers. Furthermore, using the configurational approach, we identify exemplary combinations of market exit drivers that occur frequently and propose five archetypes of such combinations that suffice to explain all market exits in the dataset. For future research, we propose extending our typology through the application of a similar approach to different contexts and to use quantitative research based on the qualitative findings to generate more generalizable results.

Keywords: Market exit; Divestment motives; Foreign subsidiary divestment; Retail divestment; Configurational approach; Archetypes (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s11575-021-00449-8

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