Philippine retail industry posts positive outlook for 2019

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By: Leony Garcia, Business Mirror

Retailing accounts for about 23 percent of the total services industry. And while the growth of retail trade slowed down in 2018 amid less positive sentiment of household consumers, it has been a major growth driver of the services sector with total gross value added (GVA) in real terms increasing by 1.8 times to P1.22 trillion in 2018 from P686.3 billion in 2009.

This is according to the report of NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon during the Philippine Retailers Association’s (PRA) annual Retail CEO Briefing in conjunction with its First Quarter General Membership Meeting for 2019, held on March 19, 2019.

Edillon added that the Philippine retail industry grew by 5.8% in the fourth quarter of 2018, with a full-year expansion of 5.9% in 2018.

“Notwithstanding the risks, retailing in the Philippines is expected to remain positive alongside the continued expansion in the economy as strong macroeconomic fundamentals and favorable demographics provide a solid base for investments in the country,” Edillon said.

Likewise, the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Finance (DOF), and Nielsen reported positive prospects for retail businesses in the country for 2019, as economic growth and domestic demand remain strong, amidst some challenges.

Nielsen Managing Director Patrick Cua said that 2019 will generate more jobs and higher spending power for consumers given that it is an election year. He added that growth will be driven by food as well as fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) in general which covers 40-50% of consumption.

He also shared tips on strategies to do in response to challenges and trends in 2019, including leveraging on e-commerce, providing convenience and communicating with the younger generation.

Department of Finance Director Euvimil Nina Asuncion said that the robust double-digit growth in sales and the high-profit margins of publicly-listed retail giants and real estate companies in the Philippines in 2018 prove that Filipinos have significantly increased their spending power as a result of last year’s implementation of the TRAIN Law.

She added that as a complementary measure to TRAIN Law, the Tax Amnesty Law Package 1B will allow errant taxpayers to affordably settle their outstanding tax liabilities allowing for a “fresh start” for taxpayers.

26th NRCE slated on August 15-16

Global and local experts in the industry are expected to grace the 26th National Retail Conference and Stores Asia Expo (NRCE) slated on August 15-16, 2019, at SMX Convention Center, MoA Complex, Pasay City, to give insights and provide updates on the latest developments and trends on the retail industry including sustainability, disruptions in retail, cashless payments, market segments and consumer behavior, and customer experience, among others.

The NRCE is the biggest and the longest-running retail industry event in the country, organized by the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA), the national organization of retailers and suppliers in the country. This is the definitive event for retailers looking for solutions and strategies to cope with the various disruptions caused by the digital age.

The 2019 NRCE edition is pegged on the theme “Retail Reimagined” to help retailers and the industry as a whole seek strategies on how to make retailing relevant amidst disruptions and changes in the digital age.

“With the continuous emergence of new digital innovations and e-commerce businesses, the retail sector should be able to find ways on how to adapt and utilize these new platforms for the customers, who want fast and efficient service and at the same time, crave for human and genuine interactions from brands,” NRCE Overall Chairman Fredrick D. Go said.

“We want this year to be bigger, more advanced and of course, it should cater to the total needs of the time,” Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) President Rosemarie B. Ong said.

Aside from the main conference, there will be “Retail Spotlights” or more focused discussions on Supermarket and Digital transformation niches for Day 1 and 2.

Side-by-side the conference is the Stores Asia Expo, which will feature solutions and state-of-the-art technology needed by retailers in this digital age, including Retail Solutions, E-Commerce & M-Commerce, Shop Fittings & Store Design, Digital Marketing, Commercial and Real Estate Developers, Web Developers, Non-traditional Advertising, Financial Services, Storage and Distribution, HR Solutions, and Billboard Locations, among others, to help them enhance and expand their business operations.

There will also be on floor seminars billed as “Retail Labs” inside the exhibit area, featuring discussions on essential and new tools and strategies for the industry.

For more, information, contact the PRA Executive Secretariat at 6874180, 6874181, 6874985, or email: marketing@philretailers.com/ specialprojects@philretailers.com.

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