What Explains Small- and Medium-sized Apparel Retailers' International Market Involvement?
An Application of the Uppsala Model
The fashion industry is highly globalized and many U.S. fashion firms have expanded their businesses into global markets as a viable growth strategy. Most U.S. apparel companies are small- and medium-sized firms (SMEs), defined as those with fewer than 500 employees in the U.S. market. Firm size is by no means a significant impediment to internationalization (e.g., Aspelund & Moen, 2005). Nonetheless, very limited studies have examined the international activities and strategies of U.S. SME apparel retailers. To assist U.S. SME apparel retailers’ expansion to global markets, an understanding the factors that explain their international market involvement is important. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to investigate U.S. SME apparel retailers’ internationalization by proposing a theoretical framework that incorporates the factors related to their international market involvement (IMI).