“The future of retail is bright with so much possibilities.”
Despite the debilitating impact of this still raging pandemic, there’s reason to believe in the optimism expressed by Rosemarie Bosch Ong, president of the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA), especially as the country is starting to see green shoots of recovery—albeit, slow.
Improving economic indicators, the continuing rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, and the easing of restrictions are no doubt helping a dynamic Philippine retail industry, where players have begun innovating to adapt to the massive disruptions dealt by this crisis. The past year has been witness to the struggles of local retailers who have since been recalibrating, overhauling strategies, and effectively rewriting their playbooks to ride the wave of changes amid these perilous times.
“The retail sector was adversely hit by the intermittent lockdowns and strict community quarantines during the first half of the year. The threat of the Delta variant has hampered the almost reopening of our economy during the beginning of 2021,” Ong said.
“However, the retail sector continued to adapt to the changes and challenges by pivoting to e-commerce and strengthening online presence through different online platforms such as their own websites, social media and online marketplaces. As we continue to recover and transition to the postpandemic era, we will most likely carry out these new retail trends and experiences: e-commerce, contactless and digital transactions, and overall healthy lifestyle preferences for most of the consumer market,” she further explained.
In the case of Wilcon Depot, where she serves as SEVP-COO, it managed to sustain its first half sales despite the reimposed lockdowns in April and in August. Foot traffic, however, was greatly affected due to these restrictions in mobility.
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