Internationalization of South African Retail Firms in Selected African Countries

Lyal White, Kathryn Van Dongen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


African markets are complex environments for foreign multinationals. The continent, which has recently attracted significant attention for its rich potential and growth prospects, presents a multitude of challenges for the South African retailers leading the charge of retail expansion. This qualitative study seeks a deeper understanding of the contextual challenges experienced by these firms in other African markets, and how they have managed this process. It further engages how these firms build networks with local stakeholders and how they overcome information deficits. This study confirms the rich variety of capabilities and approaches developed by South African retailers operating across the continent, as opposed to a single standard approach. The research has further confirmed that these firms typically use SA Inc. as a country specific advantage in their expansion, leveraging off their inter-firm networks and personal exchanges to gain a better understanding of African markets and their consumers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-298
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of African Business
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Africa
  • SA Inc
  • South African retailers
  • internationalization
  • networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development


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