Days after French retail giant Carrefour announced it would be closing down its Hong Kong operations, the group criticised restrictive town planning laws and cut-throat competition for the move. However, industry analysts are speculating that other retailers had made sure Carrefour could not rent larger sites in a bid to stop it expanding.When Carrefour arrived in Hong Kong, the comfortable status quo of the retail sector came under threat from aggressive discounting policies. It is possible that suppliers threatened to boycott the French group unless it stopped discounting its goods on offer. Its rivals, ParknShop and Wellcome, rarely use the radical discount and promotion tactics that are common fare in Europe and the US. The case has highlighted the importance of researching the cultural norms prevailing in a foreign market before moving in with retail practices that might not succeed.For earlier news on Carrefour's exit strategy from Hong Kong