Crossing threshold periods in the retail life cycle: Insights from Wal-Mart international

Mark J. Palmer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article takes a broader theoretical perspective of the retail life cycle by incorporating threshold periods at important inflection points in the international growth process. Specifically, it considers one threshold interval between an early phase of disjointed international expansion and a more focused, accelerated international growth programme. It concludes that executives need to consider a set of threshold periods during the development and growth of international store operations, understand why these events occur, and consider in what ways to respond to them to overcome and cross the threshold. Salient lessons are extracted from Wal-Mart's experiences during the threshold period for other international managers. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)717-729
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Management Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005


  • Internationalisation
  • Life cycle
  • Retailing
  • Threshold periods
  • Wal-Mart


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