PH is Asia's next shopping destination?

MAP. u201cWe want to put the Philippines in the shopping map. We have to raise awareness of the offerings that we have. We have to catch up. We have to have a slice of travel retailing,u201d Philippine Retailers Association President Lorenzo Formoso says.

MAP. u201cWe want to put the Philippines in the shopping map. We have to raise awareness of the offerings that we have. We have to catch up. We have to have a slice of travel retailing,u201d Philippine Retailers Association President Lorenzo Formoso says.

MANILA, Philippines – Major retailers are grooming anew the Philippines as the next shopping destination in Asia.

Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) president Lorenzo Formoso said the group is reviving efforts initiated 15 years ago to groom the country for tourism shopping and grab a slice of the booming business from shopping destinations Hong Kong and Singapore.

The efforts are based on what Formoso called the "sweet spot" in consumer spending from 2015 to 2017, which ushered in the "bright days for retail."

“We want to put the Philippines in the shopping map. We have to raise awareness of the offerings that we have. We have to catch up. We have to have a slice of travel retailing,” Formoso said on the sidelines of the Philippine Shopping Festival 2015 launch on September 29.

PRA Vice Chairman Roberto Claudio said the Philippine retail industry is growing 5% to 8% per year but did not provide statistics.

Citing data from the Department of Trade and Industry, PRA said retail contributes 13% to gross domestic product (GDP). Formoso said this would rise to 15% over the short­-term.

Retail boom

Claudio said retail greatly benefits from rising foreign visitor arrivals into the country.

The Department of Tourism earlier estimated that every foreign tourist spends an average of $300 per visit to the country.

Formosa said while the DOT did not meet its 5 ­million arrival target in 2014, tourism spending rose and the number of stays doubled from an average of 3 days to 6.

More foreign brands are also coming in the Philippines but that local brands continue to fight it out despite the competition, PRA noted.

PRA, in cooperation with DOT is staging the Philippine Shopping Festival 2015 from October 23 to November 8.

Joining the 2-week shopping festival are Araneta Center Incorporated, Ayala Malls, Duty Free Philippines, Festival Supermall, Greenfield Development Corporation, Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, Ortigas & Company, Shangri-La Plaza Corporation, SM Supermalls, Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall, Starmall, Riverbanks Center, and Robinsons Malls. – Rappler.com