International Retail Ventures

International Retail Ventures

It’s becoming increasingly common for international retail ventures to expand into different countries, especially when they offer their products via e-commerce websites. International shipping is considered the norm nowadays, especially with the rise of consumers from different countries being advertised products on social media platforms, and many will purchase products from brands in different countries. 

When selling online throughout Europe is successful, the natural progression is to invest in retail spaces in new countries, providing consumers with somewhere to physically shop products. This step not only enhances brand visibility, but also leverages the existing popularity of products and boosts profitability. If you’re considering transitioning your online offerings to a brick-and-mortar store in another European country, below we have covered the key considerations when doing so and some strategies to optimise operations. 

The Benefits of Physical Stores in New Markets

Setting up a physical retail store in a new country offers several benefits that can significantly enhance your business’s reach and impact. The brand presence that a physical store can offer can have a direct impact on sales. By establishing a shop front, retail businesses can not only increase visibility but also create a tangible presence within a local market, which is a key factor for brand recognition and long-term success. 

Having a physical retail store can improve customer engagement too. Physical interactions are vital as they allow you to build stronger relationships with consumers, which can have a knock-on effect on customer satisfaction and loyalty. Not to mention, running a physical store provides valuable insights into the local market. Understanding things like consumer behaviour, preferences and trends in a specific country can be essential to improving both online and physical business strategies, ensuring your offerings are well-suited to meet the wants and needs of a local customer base.

Key Considerations Before Expanding into Europe

Whenever you’re starting a new retail venture in another European country, registering a company is a key part of the process. With some help, this process can be very straightforward and you can incorporate your business in multiple countries with minimal hassle. Here are some general steps and advice to consider when expanding your company in Europe; 

  • Research Local Regulations – The process of registering a company in another European country can vary from one jurisdiction to another. It’s essential to understand the specific requirements in the country where you plan to open a retail store. This includes not only legal structures and registration procedures but also compliance obligations like consumer protection standards and employment laws. 
  • Choose the Right Structure – The choice of legal structure is an important decision that will affect your operations abroad. Whether you opt for a subsidiary, branch or franchise, each comes with its own set of considerations. Understanding the benefits of each structure can help you determine the best solution for your expansion and help ensure the move overseas is a success. 
  • Retail Licensing – Navigating the complexities of local retail licensing is vital for legal compliance and smooth operations. Each jurisdiction may have different requirements and processes, making it important to ensure all licences and permits are in place before you open your new store. It’s often advisable to get some expert advice with retail licensing to ensure nothing important is overlooked. 
  • Seek Local Expertise – Having local expertise is invaluable when entering a new market. Local formation experts, lawyers and accountants can offer insights that you’re unable to gain through research alone, ensuring your new retail venture is as stress-free as possible from the initial planning stages to the opening of your new store. These professionals can make the whole registration process less daunting. 

Optimising Operations in New Countries 

Registering a company in Europe is just the first step and to ensure your physical store is a success, there are a few other things you need to consider. Optimising your operations is crucial to improving the in-store experience for customers and boosting company profits. Here are some strategies to help with running a retail store in a new country.


Successfully adapting your products and marketing strategies to align with local tastes and cultural norms is an essential part of any international expansion. While you may know that your products are selling well online, you may need to make a few changes to capture the interest of local consumers shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. Incorporating local trends into your product development can result in higher acceptance and, in turn, more sales. You may also need to re-evaluate your brand messaging to ensure it resonates with the local target audience.  

Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Efficient logistics are fundamental to ensuring your products are available whenever and wherever they are needed. Integrating local warehousing solutions and forming partnerships with regional logistics companies can significantly optimise your supply chain, streamlining the process of getting your products to your new retail store. Of course, understanding local transportation routes and infrastructure can enhance delivery efficiency too, reducing costs and improving customer satisfaction.

Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) System

Investing in an EPOS system is essential for managing day-to-day sales and operations effectively, especially when operating internationally. These systems not only enable smoother transitions but also real-time tracking of inventory and sales processing. By leveraging the data collected by an EPOS system, you can make informed decisions for each retail store regardless of its location and use detailed reports to help your business run more efficiently and effectively, boosting customer satisfaction and retention.

Merchant Services and Payment Solutions

To truly localise your retail operations, it’s crucial to accommodate the preferred payment methods of your customers. This includes integrating systems that support local credit cards, mobile payments and even cash transactions, depending on local shopping habits. Adapting to the latest payment technologies ensures you meet the evolving expectations of your customers. Providing a seamless payment experience can improve customer trust and increase the likelihood of repeat business. 

Cultural Training

Equipping your existing staff with knowledge of local customs is more than just an operational necessity, it’s a strategic advantage. Whilst employees might not be working in the store themselves, they will communicate with team members and play a key role in welcoming them. This can have a knock-on effect on things like recruitment, staff retention and company reputation. Having a good understanding of local culture is beneficial for all staff members, regardless of their role in the company. 

Opening Retail Stores in New European Countries 

Deciding to open physical retail stores in another European country offers several opportunities for growth and increased market penetration. Following the success of e-commerce operations, a brick-and-mortar store can take your business to the next level. By understanding the requirements for company registration in Europe and implementing strategies to optimise your operations, you can successfully build a retail presence in a new country. Ultimately, the key to success is preparation and continuous improvement, and with the right approach, you can turn the popularity of your online store into a thriving physical retail business.

Contact our professionals who can provide you with company formation, shelf company acquisition and the registration process. We offer a unique range of services and we can handle company registration in Europe and Internationally on your behalf. Our experience provides peace of mind that wherever you open your store, we have the expertise to assist you.