Unit 1 - Globalization Case Studies


Transnational Corporation - Tesco


Founded in 1919 by Jack Cohen as a group of market stalls. First store opened 10 years later in Burnt Oak, Middlesex. It now has 450,000 employes with 6351 stores and a net income of £2.8 billion in 2012. 


  • First overseas chain set up in the late 1990's in central/eastern Europe. 1998 saw joint venture with Korean TNC Samsung and stores opened in SE Asia.
  • As of 2007, Tesco has locations in 12 countries, and 57% floor space is outside the UK.
  • £1 of every £8 spent in the UK in 2007 was spent in Tesco.
  • Is the UK's leading retailer with quadrupled profits in the last 10 years.
  • Worldwide sales topped £47B in 2007.
  • Influx of overseas jobs has helped to raised living standards in LDC's.


  • Profits made from overseas stores came back to the UK and didn't help the surrounding communities.
  • Local suppliers are undercut by cheaper produce overseas (Polish milk sold in C Europe).
  • Large supermarket chains cause local shops to close.
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Migration into the UK - Poland (Economic Flow)

Push/Pull Factors

  • High unemployment (19% in 2004)
  • Low averages wages ($12,000 in 2004)
  • Low availability of housing (300 dwellings for every 1000 people)
  • Ease of migration (only UK, Ireland and Sweden allowed unlimited migration)
  • Good exchange rate (£1 = 7 Zloty in 2004)
  • Plenty of better paid jobs (shortage in labour which the Polish could capitalize on)

Impacts (Poland/UK)

  • Income generated by migrants is being sent back to Poland (€3.45B in 2006).
  • Polish economy has slowed due to the shortage of labourers.
  • Population has shrunk by 0.3%. Birth rate has also decreased.
  • Air traffic has increased between the two countries (3.3M passengers in 06). Increases GHG emissions.
  • These workers have contributed to the UK's GDP (1st 8 months of migrant flow brought in £240M)
  • UK population has increased as more migrants of reproductive age enter. Has helped to combat ageing population problem, as migrants pay taxes which support pensions.
  • Shops selling Polish products have opened in areas with lots of migrants.
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Migration out of the UK - Spain (Retirement Flow)

Push/Pull Factors

  • Cost of living is rising in the UK
  • The UK has a cool, wet and changeable climate (2010 winter coldest in last few decades).
  • Cost of living is falling in Spain (cheaper housing)
  • Hot, dry and stable climate (Costa Blanca has 320 days of sun a year).
  • Improved communications allow migrants to keep in touch with family.
  • Increase in budget air travel allow for more frequent visits from family members.

Impacts (Spain/UK)

  • The population of Spain is generating a greater proportion of elderly people.
  • Many migrants return back to the UK, which increases air traffic and GHG emissions.
  • A lot of migrants are reaching an age where they need long-term medical care, which the Spanish health system can't deal with.
  • The UK migrants have developed ethnic and tourist enclaves, seperating themselves from the community, which has led to tensions between the British and Spanish.
  • The loss of the grey pound, with less money being made from elderly people spending in leisure sectors.
  • The cost of paying for healthcare of migrants led to the NHS stopping free healthcare for ex-pats in 2008.
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Megacity - London (MEDC)

Urban Cycle

  • Urbanisation is occuring (net gain of 70,000 international migrants)
  • Counter-urbanisation is also occuring (net loss of 80,000 to mainly rural areas)
  • Re-urbanisation is happening around London Docklands (population doubled since 1980's development).


  • 85% of London employees work in service sector
  • Has one of the largest stock exchanges (location of major bank headquarters like HSBC)
  • Tourism is a major part of economy (15 million tourists in 2006)

Housing Patterns

  • Poorer places like Hackney have undergone gentrification (rich and poor live together).
  • Surburban growth has led to villages around London becoming suburbs (Streatham became a wealthy suburb during 19thC).
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Megacity - Mumbai (NIC)

Urban Cycle

  • Urbanisation is occuring (1.1M migrants from out of Mumbai between 1991-2001)
  • Suburbanisation is occuring (suburbs developing along main rail and road routes)


  • Until the 80's, economy was based mainly on textiles and shipping.
  • There's been an increase in IT and financial services.
  • Mumbai's a major centre for out-sourced work (UK based Prudential has a call centre in Greater Mumbai)
  • Mumbai is a major media centre (Bollywood film industry sold 3.6B tickets worldwide).

Housing Patterns

  • The wealthiest area (Malabar Hill) is near to the Central Business District.
  • 1/2 population live in shanty towns (Dhavari is the biggest, more than 600,000)
  • Wealthier suburbs have been built along road/rail routes, but shanty towns are squeezed in as close to transport links as possible.
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