The company’s retail division (called Primark in UK and Penney’s in Ireland) has a global presence with over 215 stores covering a total area of 6.9 million square feet (ABF, 2010). The retail division’s outlets are located in Belgium, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the UK (ABF, 2010).
In 1963, the company acquired the British supermarket giant, Fine Fare which it sold later in 1986 in order to acquire British sugar (ABF, 2010). As of 2009, British Sugar fulfills the sugar (ABF, 2010). The company provides employment to more than 97,000 people and operates in more than 44 countries (ABF, 2010)The Company’s profits by geographic region are such that the company derives 53% of its profits from U.K and rest from international sales. Amongst the international regions it targets are Europe , Africa, America and Asia Pacific with Europe and Africa contributing the most and Asia Pacific contributing the least (ABF, 2010).
The mode of market entry employed by ABF has been diversification of both products and markets (Whittington & Mayer, 2002). It has been observed at times, that diversification into new markets has been the result of product diversification; that is, the company has entered into new markets simply because those markets had demand for the product that the company had newly introduced. This was the case with sugar. ABF diversified into the food business because of its intention to provide one-stop convenience shopping to customers; the company had realized that customer buying habits and trends were changing (Whittington & Mayer, 2002). One of the most important reasons however was the instability of earnings from sugar sector due to its seasonal nature, coupled with the anticipated EU reform (Bertin, 2002).
By the early 1900’s, ABF diversified into the tea and coffee segment (through acquisition of Twinings and Jackson), the biscuits and chips bread business (through acquisition of Burtons