It's getting hot in Latin America, and it's not just World Cup fever coming out of Brazil.
The region once again dominated A.T. Kearney's annual Global Retail Development Index, which selects 30 out of 200 developing nations and scores them on criteria including political risk, population, saturation and retail sales. The rankings determine how important it is for retailers to plant their flag there.
The firm's findings highlighted that retailers are continuing their push into developing markets, and have started to learn that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to expansion. Many retailers initially looked abroad as a result of slowed growth in the U.S., seeing it as an opportunity to boost sales.
"They have become more strategic in their expansion and in avoiding the operational pitfalls of entries into developing markets," the study said. "The leaders are also identifying the unique challenges of each market, from India's foreign direct investment policies to Brazil's high duties to Turkey's high credit card regulations."
The rankings not only gauge today's most successful markets, but examine which will be the strongest performers down the road. Three Latin American countries ranked in the study's top five, one of which dethroned last year's top-ranked Brazil.
New to the top 10 this year were Kazakhstan and Malaysia, whose appeal to premium luxury shoppers outweighed their small populations.
—By CNBC's Krystina Gustafson
Posted 18 June 2014
Country rankings from A.T. Kearney's 2014 Global Retail Development Index. Population and GDP per capita data are from the Central Intelligence Agency's World Factbook.