Retail businesses eye relocating to ASEAN


By: Manila Bulletin

In the wake of the COVID-19 and the volatile US-China trade tensions, retail businesses are looking to relocate operations to the ASEAN region, according to a global advisory and consultancy firm.

While the ASEAN region is often the prime choice for businesses and investors, any relocation or expansion in a new country or region can be challenging. Many factors need to be considered, including risk management, cost management, investment returns, cultural differences and more.

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Marivic Espano, chairperson and CEO P&A Grant Thornton, noted that the retail industry was severely impacted during the global outbreak of COVID-19 and is currently facing significant market, financial, people and operational challenges.

The pandemic has affected parts of the industry in different ways.
Although the grocery sector carries essential products that continued to be sold unhampered during the pandemic, the retail industry struggled with supply chain issues.

Consumer goods and apparel businesses have been challenged by store closures and rapid growth of online sales.

Espano advised retail businesses to focus on liquidity, cost management, debt and restructuring to assess, protect and restore value for their business. The ‘Retail: Navigating the Impact of COVID-19’ will provide some guidance on the steps required to position themselves for the ‘new normal’ that is emerging after the lockdown restrictions are eased.

Retailers need to ensure their businesses are resilient going forward. Lenders and stakeholders need to know there is a working strategy for transitioning from the present disruption to operating in the new normal.


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