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Successfully establishing new operations


A U.S.-based manufacturer of retail fixtures was examining international expansion as an opportunity for adjacent (geographical) growth.

Our client commissioned a high-level overview of the global retail market seeking information on countries where the retail industry was growing and the business environment was potentially attractive. Some specific questions of interest included:
Where are current and long-term economic outlooks positive for higher-end (not luxury) retail?

Are there any political, economic, or industry barriers to entering countries of interest?

The goal was to identify a small set of countries worthy of further review.


ENGINE completed this study in stages, each examining fewer countries in deeper detail.

  • Stage I: Review of published global studies examining measures such as retail health, corruption levels, financial openness, growing retail sectors, levels of import duties, and drivers for economic growth.
  • ENGINE and the client reviewed the results and narrowed the scope to three regions and 11 countries.
  • Stage II: Review of issues such as business climate, taxation, IP protection, retail forecasts and drivers, and government stats. ENGINE interviewed experts from Expert ENGINE actively consulting for retail clients in the target regions and countries to gain insight into key issues that could drive the client’s final decision.


ENGINE presented its findings in a lively discussion of pros and cons for the different countries. The client saw high market growth as the best opportunity for short-term growth, but also a need for professional  business practices, protection of priority design, and openness to imported U.S. fashions.

Based on the client’s business culture and aspirations, ENGINE recommended two specific countries that could be first used to generate experience developing international processes and business models and then act as stepping stones for further international expansion into other regional countries.  After further review, the client agreed with ENGINE’s recommendation and successfully established operations in one of the two countries.