(Source: BusinessWorld, by Daphne J. Magturo | Aug. 15, 2015)
Local and foreign retailers are hoping to grow sales at a faster pace this year, as the Philippines hosts major international conventions and launches its first nationwide shopping festival.
Retail sales, which accounted for 13% of first-quarter gross domestic product, will likely increase by 5% over 2015. This represents an acceleration from thel 1.8% growth posted a year earlier, the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) said during the launch of the 17th Asia Pacific Retailers Convention & Exhibition (APRCE) at the Fairmont Makati on Friday.
“We are hoping for a faster growth rate because we will host the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) and the APRCE, and a lot of foreigners will visit the country,” PRA President Lorenzo C. Formoso said.
Th Philippine Shopping Festival will also be held in October, aiming to replicate those in Singapore and Hong Kong. It is expected to become an annual event.
“The whole Philippines will be on sale. The Philippine Shopping Festival is not just targeting locals, but also the international tourists because shopping is part of a tourist activity,” Mr. Formoso said.
He added that the retail industry is “approaching its lean season so sales will definitely go down,” but it is expected to rebound in November and December due to the surge in consumer spending during the Christmas season.
PRA Chairman Frederick D. Go said in the same venue that the Philippines outbid Thailand and Australia to host the APRCE, which is expected to attract 1,500 foreign and 1,000 local delegates.
The APRCE in October will be hosted by the Federation of Asia Pacific Retailers Associations, composed of 17 national retailer groups.