Retail Localization

Retail Localization

The retail industry could not have predicted 20yrs ago that the concept of ‘Demand and Supply’ would take on such a global overtone. Today all the multi-million dollar (or billion dollars for that matter) are competing head to head with mid to small cap retailers, to grow their business and take them global. Multinational brands are spreading their wings and adapting to local markets and local tastes. For example just take McDonalds; in India you would not get a beef burger but instead you would get a chicken Maharaja Mac; or for that matter in Japan you could order a McPork or vegetarian Korokke Burger; or in Malaysia, you could order McD Chicken Porridge.

So retail Localization could be described as the expansion and introduction of a business into a new market, keeping in mind the local language, cultural specifications and requirements and specifications.


All signage will have company mottos, or marketing phrases, images, etc. It’s always important to keep these in the local language; create the marketing phraseology keeping in mind the local culture and linguistics; the images should also connect with the local population (you cannot have a picture of an Eskimo in an igloo advertising beachwear in Hawaii).


When it comes to displays it’s very important that local culture and traditions are kept in mind. You would need to keep track of local festivals, public holidays, national holidays, etc. …days that people in the target market would celebrate and then change the displays accordingly. You also have to keep displays culturally relevant and thus attract the correct market demographic


Localize the merchandise. You cannot sell a mug with “God Save the Queen” on it in China… it would be completely culturally irrelevant. Please make a note that every culture has certain dos and don’ts when it comes to colours…so keep an eye on the colour schemes.


Organize social event that will get the target market involved. Sponsoring local events is also a good way of introducing yourself to a market.

Social Media

Advertising and marketing or basically just introducing your product on social media today is the quickest way of reaching out to the general public. It is the most effective way of targeting specific demographics in the market.