Above all, earnings expectations have forced major multiples to enter overseas markets. Even grocery retailers that have gone global would do well to stop planting flags and focus instead on a limited set of opportunities where they are most likely to be successful in generating operations of scale.
What is so critical is to have a strong homebase in order to finance these prolonged losses internationally. What must retailers do to succeed in foreign markets?
Rather, it's the home market's growth that is the primary driver of profit margins and sales growth.
Retailing is usually local in those nations, and the industry is highly fragmented. However, success abroad varies widely, and research shows that it's often tough to increase profits by investing abroad.
The Americans had intended to invest in their undersized German subsidiary, but quickly stepped in when Asda announced that it planned to merge with Kingfisher.
Unless international retailers enter developed countries by acquiring a strong local player, they must offer something which shoppers perceive as new, different and valuable.
Retailers will do better overseas if they apply four rules: Rule 1: The home market is the linchpin of globalization. Tesco has withdrawn from Japan, Taiwan and France and makes a relatively big loss on only a small presence in the US.
It is only fair to conclude that both university professors do articulate in their research conditions for grocery retailers to be successful internationally.
Opportunities dry up, and competitors may become unassailable incumbents. However, these are notably more cautious in tenor than the irrational exuberance that can all too easily lead retail globalisation into becoming a costly exercise in mere flag-planting.