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An empirical study on the timing of big retailers’ initial internationalization: Influence of the target market and entry-mode choice


This paper examines the timing of big retailers’ initial internationalization and proposes a theoretical framework. Then, the framework is tested with the proportional hazard model and data of European and U.S. big retailers. Empirical results show that retailers’ entry timing is jointly influenced by the economic conditions of both the home market and target foreign markets, cultural and geographical distance, and the entry mode. Based on these findings, this article offers suggestions to China’s big retailers whose initial internationalization has just started.


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Correspondence to Yong Wang.

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Translated from Zhongguo Ruankexue 中国软科学 (China Soft Science), 2009, (1): 97–111

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  • big retailers
  • initial internationalization timing
  • target market
  • entry mode