"chain" or "network" when referring to transnational corporations?
Thread poster: anita_storm
Russian to English
+ ...
Oct 7, 2011

Hello everybody.
Please, help me to choose the best variant and to grasp the difference. I've come across both "retail chain" and "retail network" in the Internet in regad to big retail corporations, and I am a bit confused, which is the best.
Please, correct me if I am wrong.
When we mean a number of stores/hypermarkets/hotels within one country, "chain" is more common.But when it comes to international/global/multinational/transnational corporations, wouldn't it be better to use "network"?
"network of shops" is given the first in Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

Please, resolve my doubts.

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Mark Cole  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:29
Polish to English
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Wouldn't it be better to ask this as a KudoZ question? Oct 7, 2011

As far as I'm aware, 'retail chain' refers one particular brand, whether it's within one country or multinational.
'Retail network' is used for 'retailers' in general (e.g. in a country, a town, etc). It doesn't imply they operate under a single name/brand.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:29
Spanish to English
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Network is bigger Oct 7, 2011

anita_storm wrote:

Please, resolve my doubts.


I think a chain is more linear, whereas a network is more spread out, like a spiderweb, and could include several chains.
For example in the UK, Tesco is a chain of supermarkets, but if they joined up with other companies in same sector, such as ASDA, or Waitrose, to use a shared logistic centre, for example, then that could be described as a network.


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Russian to English
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a big Thank You to everyone Oct 9, 2011

Thank you very much for answering,
everything you wrote was really heplful!

2 Mark Cole:
I'm new to this site and just starting to learn all its advantages. Thank you for KudoZ!

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"chain" or "network" when referring to transnational corporations?

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