While the U.S. may be seen as the world’s hub for all things retail, a recent report suggests that this title may be a better fit for one of several countries in Latin America – if not the region as a whole.
In its latest Global Retail Development Index, strategic and operational services company A.T. Kearney found Chile to be the best country in the world when it comes to the growth and development of retail, supplanting Brazil as the top destination for retail expansion. In addition to Chile and Brazil, six other Latin American nations – namely Uruguay, Peru, Panama, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico – were also included in this year’s Index.
Hana Ben-Shabat, A.T. Kearney partner and co-author of the GRDI report, indicated that many companies have learned from their past mistakes, as there were fewer failures.
“[Global retailers] have become much more adept and successful with their emerging market expansion,” said Ben-Shabat. “E-commerce is also helping with global expansion as retailers are able to test a market and build their brand through e-commerce before they expand with brick-and-mortar stores.”
Additionally, the report found that regional retailers are fast becoming some of the biggest movers and shakers among emerging markets, doing so by exploiting their nearness to neighboring markets that are more established.
Brazil still in Top 5
Approximately 30 countries were ranked in the GRDI report, and as with prior years, retailers from from Latin America were among the best in overall retail development. Chile finished ahead of Brazil, moving up from the second ranking in 2013. Meanwhile, Brazil’s development index fell to No. 5. Three of the top 5 countries with the highest scores were Latin American countries and five of the top 15.
What accounts for the retail boom? It could be due to growth of the middle class. Based on statistics from the World Bank, 49 million Latin Americans received earnings between 2003 and 2009 that put them in a higher income class, Latin Trade Magazine reported. As a result, retailers have reacted by providing consumers with more products and services that they’re not only interested in, but are also able to afford, such as electronics, high fashion and quality furniture.
With many retail companies that have grown or are set to expand, they need to be aware of the new laws in place that deal with electronic invoicing. For instance, in Brazil, e-invoicing is required for virtually every business that operates in South America’s largest country.
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