PH retail industry expected to grow double digits

Aya Lowe
The industry will get a boost from the upcoming midterm elections, which is expected to drive consumer spending

MANILA, Philippines – The retail industry will see a double-digit growth this year, according to Frederick Go, president of the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA).

Speaking on the sidelines of the 16th Outstanding Filipino Retailers & Shopping Centers of the Year awards night, Go, who is also president of Robinsons Land Corp., said the main drivers behind growth are the robust outsourcing sector and remittance inflows, which drive consumer spending.

The upcoming midterm elections will also provide a boost. “We are also already in an election year and as generally believed, election years are always good for the retail or general consumer industries. So I think we have a lot of reasons to be optimistic about the retail industry in 2013,” said Go.

Citing the Business Monitor International report, Go said sales from the retail industry hit P1.42 trillion in 2012.

According to him, the food and beverage segment saw the most growth. “In the last decade or so, food has probably been outpacing hard goods. It’s quite obvious that as people become wealthier, they tend to dine out more and they tend to experience more cuisines outside of the home cooking. So as people become more affluent you can expect them to continue with this trend as seen in the first world.”

One trend we can expect to see this year is the growth of new concept stores, both food and non-food and the entry of more foreign brands into the Philippine market through a strong franchising market, he said.

“I think it will continue to go strong and in fact, the industry now is so developed, in the past you probably needed 20 to 30 stores before people knocked on your door for franchises. Today, you have one successful store, you already have 10 people knocking on your door to be a franchisee,” said Go.

Neighboring countries can also expect to see increased entry of homegrown Filipino brands. “The success of stores expanding here in the Philippines, primarily through the franchising business model, has given local retailers the confidence to actually go out now into the world and compete. So we know of several local brands that are trying to really expand branches overseas,” Go noted. –