Title: Master international franchising in China: the case of The Athlete's Foot

Authors: Ilan Alon

Addresses: Rollins College, 1000 Holt Ave, Winter Park, Florida 32789–2722, USA

Abstract: Franchising seems like a particularly attractive mode of entry for global companies that wish to anchor their brand in China, without taking much risk. The case of RetailCo is particularly interesting to those who want to understand the dynamic nature of China|s retail environment in relation to the franchise concept. As the master franchisee of Athlete|s Foot China, RetailCo introduced a new concept in the athletic shoes retailing sector that combined an international brand, customer service, management system, and a portfolio of brand-name products. A combination of rising costs, increased competition from powerful suppliers, and changing consumer wants created a loosing value proposition for Rick, the master franchisee entrepreneur. The case leaves the reader with the problem: how can Rick emerge from the financial and positional quandary?

Keywords: case study; global franchising; China; Chinese retailing; failure; success; turnaround; athletic footwear; entrepreneurship; small business; athletic shoes; shoe retailing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2007.011430

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2007 Vol.4 No.1, pp.41 - 51

Published online: 30 Nov 2006 *

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