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Título:NETWORKS IN RETAIL INTERNATIONALIZATION: INFLUENCES OF SHOPPING MALLS ON THE DECISIONS ABOUT ENTRY AND INTRA-MARKET EXPANSION OF BRANDED RETAILERS INTO EMERGING MARKETSInstituição:PONTIFÍCIA UNIVERSIDADE CATÓLICA DO RIO DE JANEIRO - PUC-RIO Autor(es):RENATA MARIA DE ALMEIDA BASTOS GOMES
Firms that distribute their own brands via mono-brand stores – the so called international branded retailers (IBR) – mostly originated from developed markets, have expanded to emerging markets. Although the expansion strategies adopted by IBR in emerging markets vary, these firms seem to have adopted a general pattern in emerging markets, namely, the preference for the installation of stores in shopping centers (SC), an industry that has increasingly replaced the urban spaces in these markets. This preference is not observed in developed markets, where street commerce and department stores are strong competitors of SC. In turn, SC in emerging markets, as they seek to increase their attractiveness towards their target segments, derive particular value from the overall appeal of the brands distributed by IBR. Consequently, there is interdependence between the IBR from developed markets and the SC in emerging markets, a phenomenon that can be analyzed from the perspective of networks. This dissertation investigates the influences of the relationships with Brazilian SC over the retail internationalization process of IBR, originated from developed markets, regarding entry decisions (market selection, entry mode and marketing mix adaptation) and post entry decisions (intra-market expansion). Due to the exploratory nature of the study and the lack of literature that explains the focused relationship, a case study in Brazil was conducted, composed by in-depth interviews, in which the unit of analysis was the relationship between IBR and specialized firms operating as owners, developers and managers of an SC portfolio (SCF), and a descriptive analysis of the SC industry in Brazil under a network approach. The findings indicate that there are influences of the relationships with SC on the internationalization process of IBR, regarding entry decisions and intra-market expansion. As for entry decisions, SCF represented a pull factor in the entry of IBR in the Brazilian market; whereas in intra-market expansion decisions, SCF were the main driver of expansionary decisions of IBR within Brazil, representing a push factor in the entry in the Brazilian regional markets. The influences of SC arise from their position in the Brazilian network, notably with regard to high centrality and high reputation, characterized by a) their occupation of qualified spaces for stores of IBR, thus representing a development island in the country; b) the relationships they have with various actors and c) their size, tradition and retail expertise. This study contributes to the literature on retail internationalization since it a) investigates the process of internationalization of IBR into emerging markets, b) increases knowledge about the activities that take place after the entry of IBR in a target market, c) highlights the role of network relationships in the retail internationalization process, and d) identifies the relevance of SC as key actors in facilitating IBR operations in emerging markets.