Google’s John Mueller was recently asked what signals Google needs in order to understand that content is targeted at a specific country. He said: “We try to group URLs by clear patterns that we can recognise. And that’s, for example, by subdomain or by subdirectory.
“So if you have the country in the subdirectory, in a higher place in the path, then it’s a lot easier for us to say everything under this path is for this country, everything under this other path is for another country.
“And you can also verify individual paths in Search Console and specifically say this path is for this country, or this path is for another country, which makes it a little bit easier for us.”
So it would seem that if we have a section of our website aimed at specific territories, apart from the ‘behind the scenes’ indicators we can give (such as HREFLANG and Search Console), the obvious one of stating the country in the URL structure is a good idea. I wouldn’t reorganise a website on this basis unless it’s having issues, but it is worth considering before a major website rebuild.