This response welcomes A. Godley and H. Hang's comment on N. Alexander's recent article. It acknowledges those theoretical issues on which there is broad agreement and explores theoretical issues around which debate is likely to focus in the future. Consideration is given to international retailing in the first and second global economies and the problems surrounding the evaluation of longer term trends. It explores the nature of innovation and the international transfer of retail innovation in an international retail firm and market context. Market structural conditions and their impact on international retail activity are considered. Further areas for historically based research are suggested.