Why can’t Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons make it work overseas?

Globe trolley

While the likes of the German discounters and US giant Walmart seem to be going from strength to strength in overseas markets, UK grocers are in worldwide retreat. Retail Week analyses why and whether or not they are missing a trick

Last week, the news broke that UK supermarket giant Tesco was considering offloading its entire Asian business, with a deal in the offing to offload its Thai and Malaysian arms for up to £6.8bn.

The grocer confirmed it had received “inbound interest” for its Asian business, which spans more than 2,000 stores and employs 60,000 people. It has since “commenced a review of the strategic operations for its businesses in Thailand and Malaysia”.

Any sale would fit into a larger pattern of UK grocers retreating from overseas markets that has emerged over the last decade.

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