Paul French

American retailers have a hard time surviving outside their home turf, compared to European and Asian companies, retail analyst Paul French tells Reuters. Wal-Mart had to close stores and saw staff arrested because of price manipulation and mislabeling food products in their stores.


Carrefour and Tesco have a long track record of being successful outside their home market whereas Wal-Mart has not,” said Paul French, chief China analyst at retail consultancy Access Asia.

Some other American retailers have faltered too. Best Buy, the world’s largest consumer electronics chain, closed all of its namesake stores in China earlier this year to cut costs, although it said last month that it is mulling a return.

“In general, European and Asian (retail) companies are much better operating outside their home territories than American companies,” French said…

The problem of price manipulation and mislabeling at Wal-Mart could be the result of a breakdown in its system due to the lack of training, consultancy Access Asia’s French said.

“Obviously you cannot change the sell-by date on something and you can’t claim that something is organic when it’s not. But do these guys (low level employees) think it’s really that big a deal?,” French said, adding that poor monitoring and training could be the cause of the problem.

More about Wal-Mart’s problems in Reuters.

Paul French is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch. 

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