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A case study on the internationalization process of a ‘born-global’ fashion retailer

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2011
<mark>Journal</mark>The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research
Issue number3
Volume21
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)293-307
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

This case study on Zara elucidates the expansion strategies used by both born-global and gradual global fast-fashion retailers based on theories of internationalization. Aspects related to knowledge sharing, resource-based theory, and psychic distance are overlaid with Zara's internationalization strategies to advance understanding of the role fashion plays in dynamic internationalization. Zara employs a high-risk, high-reward model of internationalization to defend its unique merchandise and retail position by remaining completely vertical. Zara's born-global expansion strategy engendered a psychic distance paradox in that it was very successful in distant markets early on. It is proposed that fashion retailers may take note of Zara's success through the proposed ‘dynamic strategic planning process’ for expansion in international markets. Researchers can test the proposed framework empirically to investigate the theoretical constructs for both gradual- and born-global firms.