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Emerging Markets

We scout global growth opportunities and develop strategies to help retailers meet the challenges of emerging markets.

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Over the course of the next decade, the global face of the retail industry will change dramatically. Emerging markets will continue to see spectacular growth, both in regard to new shoppers and per capita spending.

We work with retailers to develop emerging market priorities and strategies, helping them capture their share of this unfolding opportunity.

What we do

Our teams develop fact-based insights for clients entering new markets, often drawing upon proprietary tools and data. The following approaches are included:

  • The Growth Compass is a proprietary database and a toolbox that assesses and prioritizes growth and profit opportunities in emerging markets. We use this resource to help retailers analyze market prospects quickly and rigorously. In particular, we give decision-makers a fact base on which to build developing market entry strategies and make portfolio and investment decisions.
  • The Granularity of Growth is a framework that employs sales forecasts by region (based on macroeconomic indicators and consumer insights) to identify regions within a country that are attractive in terms of government plans, demographics, economic links, and consumer preferences. We use this approach to help retailers tailor their commercial offer to regional needs while maintaining sufficient economies of scale.

Once retailers have figured out where to play, we apply emerging market strategy development to help clients define the business models, value propositions, formats, and capabilities they need to win locally.

Who we are

Our footprint as a retail consultancy in emerging markets is well-established. We have conducted more than 300 growth studies in the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America, Africa, and Russia since 2007. Our practice includes 50 retail-focused partners in emerging market offices.

  • Our 18 Asia Pacific offices have been involved in 60 retail projects in China alone in the past five years. More than 80 percent of our staff in the Asia-Pacific region are natives or fluent speakers of local languages. More than 30 retail-focused partners reside in the region.
  • In Latin America, we are among the leading retail consultancies with more than a dozen retail-focused partners. Our presence in the region dates back to 1970, when we opened an office in Mexico. Today, we have nine offices in Latin America.
  • Africa and the Middle East hold tremendous opportunity. Our expanding local footprint includes the Africa Consumers Insights Center, a proprietary source of data and knowledge on African consumers.
  • We have served the Russian market since 1993, developing deep experience in implementing projects for both domestic and foreign companies in the sector. Learn more about our Russian Consumer Packaged Goods and Retail Practice.

Meet our people

Udo Kopka

Udo Kopka


Latest thinking

article | McKinsey Quarterlymech12_frth_Thumbnail

Meet the Chinese consumer of 2020

March 2012—Evolving economic profiles will continue to be the most important trend shaping the market.more

articleHow half the world shops Apparel in Brazil China and India

How half the world shops: Apparel in Brazil, China, and India

November 2007—Multinational retailers face new challenges to capture the increased spending power in each of these distinctive markets.more