Costco and the Aussie shopper : a case study of the market entry of an international retailer

Minahan, Stella Marie, Huddleston, Patricia and Bianchi, Constanza 2012, Costco and the Aussie shopper : a case study of the market entry of an international retailer, International review of retail, distribution and consumer research, vol. 22, no. 5, pp. 507-527, doi: 10.1080/09593969.2012.711253.

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Title Costco and the Aussie shopper : a case study of the market entry of an international retailer
Author(s) Minahan, Stella Marie
Huddleston, Patricia
Bianchi, Constanza
Journal name International review of retail, distribution and consumer research
Volume number 22
Issue number 5
Start page 507
End page 527
Total pages 21
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Oxon, England
Publication date 2012-12
ISSN 0959-3969
Keyword(s) customer receptiveness
shopping habits
institutional theory
Summary Retailing is a globalised industry, yet retailers must respond to local shopping habits if they are to be perceived as legitimate by the host country customers. However, some retailers may be unable or unwilling to respond to all customer requirements. Costco, the membership warehouse club retailer, has been successful in its international expansion efforts, establishing its first Australian store in Melbourne in 2009. In the first 12 months of operation, the store became one of Costco's top five stores in the world. We investigated this success by focussing on the customer and used institutional theory to analyse what concessions were made by the customer and the company. Data were collected from consumer interviews, site visits and secondary media and industry sources. Analysis revealed negotiations based on the rejection, acceptance or adaptation of the regulative, normative and cultural cognitive aspects of the Australian shopper and the Costco business model. Customers made concessions to accommodate the new business model, and Costco responded to entrenched Australian shopping habits. This case is the first to explore the outcome of retail internationalisation from the customers' perspective, revealing the concept of mutual concessions. The interaction and subsequent adaptation by both customer and retailer have resulted in the institutionalisation of new shopping norms in the host country and success for the international retailer.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/09593969.2012.711253
Field of Research 150503 Marketing Management (incl Strategy and Customer Relations)
Socio Economic Objective 910399 International Trade not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, Taylor & Francis
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Deakin Business School
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