British retailers project P1.5-billion sales in PH shopping festival


(Source: Manila Bulletin, by Bernie Magkilat | Oct. 16, 2015)

British firms are making a killing in the local retail sector with expectation of P1.5-billion sales in this upcoming shopping festival season in Manila from over P1-billion sales last year, the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Manila reported.

UKTI Manila Director Ian Mansfield told reporters at a press briefing for the ongoing UK Telecommunications and Broadcast Mission that 14 British retailers participated in last year’s shopping festival selling an estimated P1 billion from 14 British brand participants in 200 local stores.

“This year there are 34 British brand participants,” he said. The Department of Tourism and the Philippine Retailers Association have assigned the months of October and November as the Shopping Festival season in an effort to promote the Philippines as a shopping destination.

According to Mansfield, sales will be boosted by its shopping raffle promo which entitles every P3,000 worth of purchase of any British merchandize to one raffle entry. At least 100,000 entries are expected this year doubling last year’s 50,000 raffle entries. Great prizes await the winning entries including trip for two to UK, 500 pounds pocket money, passes to the London Fashion Weekend, among other prizes. Promotion period runs from November 3 to December 30, 2015.

To give further boost to the British brands, the UKTI has organized a British retail business mission next month. The retail business mission would be its third to the last four missions scheduled in the fourth quarter of this year.

For the current British telecommunications and broadcast mission, Mansfield said 11 firms are in the country to explore trade opportunities. These firms are largely for the supply of services and equipment or as content providers for broadcasting firms in the country.

“This is a good time for British telcos to come because the Philippine economy is doing great,” he said noting that some of the mission members are targeting the country’s largest broadcast companies ABS-CBN and GMA for the supply of equipment and broadcast tools as well as the supply of British contents for local television shows.

“It is still too early to say, but there are lots of potential,” he said. Some mission members are also looking at providing their services to the outsourcing companies. Some are also looking at putting up local offices in the country, particularly Infobip.

Mansfield said there have been no concerns raised by the British firms on how to conduct business in the country stressing that what is important is “We have the right partner and the right market.”

Mansfield also reported that at least four to five British firms that participated in the recent infrastructure briefing the UKTI in Hong Kong are preparing to participate in the huge infrastructure projects in the country. The identities are still under wraps, but Mansfield said these firms are engaged in energy and water treatment businesses. They are also in talks with Filipino firms as their joint venture partner.

Mansfield said 65 British firms, including 9 airport firms, participated in its infrastructure roadshow in which the UKTI showcased British projects and companies in Hong Kong.

According to Mansfield, the strategy is to organize a sector-focused business mission for better emphasis and to make the mission more effective.