Oligopoly and the structural paradox of retail TNCs: An assessment of Carrefour and Wal-Mart in Japan
This research focuses on the case of international chains facing significant competition from domestic chains in advanced industrialized economies. In this article, I question the assumptions behind the perceived, simultaneous process of globalization and retail concentration by taking the cases of the world's two largest retailers, Wal-Mart and Carrefour, entering the Japanese market in the early 2000s. Both retail TNCs have so far failed to meet initial high expectations for their performance. I argue that there is a structural paradox inherent among retail TNCs, which is expressed as contradictory forces between standardization and localization. Empirical evidence is provided on how these forces complicate retail TNCs' front-end (store-front) and back-end (distribution) operations in the case of Japan. Emphasis is placed on the role of oligopoly in the retail sector and how its absence affects retail TNCs' operation in foreign markets. © The Author (2007). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Journal of Economic Geography
Aoyama, Yuko, "Oligopoly and the structural paradox of retail TNCs: An assessment of Carrefour and Wal-Mart in Japan" (2007). Geography. 839.