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Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that Tesco is closing some of its stores in China and pursuing a slower expansion program there - in part because China continues to experience the same kinds of economic problems afflicting the rest of the world over the past three or four years, and in part because there is a segment of the Chinese population that still prefers local markets and fresh food purveyors.

According to the story, "Tesco’s China pullback reflects the hurdles global big box retail chains face in Asia, where the realities of complex local markets and slowing economies are damping dreams of easy expansion. The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., is also adding outlets more gradually than it had planned in China’s 3.5 trillion yuan ($560 billion) grocery industry.
Carrefour SA is closing shops in Singapore after failing to overtake domestic competitors."

Vivian Liu, an analyst at Sinopac Securities Asia Ltd., tells Bloomberg that regional chains “know local practice better and that allows them to be more nimble and pragmatic in areas such as supply-chain management,” and that the cities where most of the global chains opened stores “quite saturated and competition is fierce."
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