2022 PRA Magazine Retailing Magazine 1st Quarter Edition - Page 11


Alice Liu Chief Retail Officer , The Penshoppe Group
“ We are optimistic about 2022 . The country is in a much better position today to deal with the crisis , than when it began two years ago . People are learning how to live and respond accordingly to COVID 19 ’ s different variants , and businesses are better able to adapt to volatility . We cannot let our guards down when the situation can change without warning , but we also have to courageously move forward and take up the opportunities that this post pandemic world is presenting us with . Achieving our short-term goals are important , but equally exciting is how we will put into play our strategies for the long game .
Moreover , the pandemic has shown us that an ideal world is possible-- mall partners , different sales channels , suppliers , and competing retailers have come together to build an eco-system where we rely on each other ’ s support , in order to survive and create a robust retail environment . We hope that this level of collaboration will continue , and be strengthened even more . The heightened synergy gives us a hopeful glimpse of a post pandemic setting where the industry can potentially achieve even more incredible things together .”
Ben Chan Chairman , Suyen Corporation
“ International economic forecasts predict a strong GDP growth for the Philippines , ( partly due to the election spendings for 2022 ) which may benefit retail spending for 2022 . The continuous joint effort by the government and private sector to provide vaccination protection to the citizenry may also boost consumer confidence to return to the stores . This hopefully compliments the growth of retail sales through digital platforms . In short , I am looking at 2022 with a positive eye , the only way we can move forward , keep the economy running , and make lives and sources of livelihood better .
At Bench and our other brands , we are investing in better made products such as sustainably-produced options , more inclusive sizes , exciting online engagements , efficient e-commerce systems , and safer and improved store experiences . Our strategy is neither to downgrade nor to downscale but to improve and be better so we can continuously be able to provide our consumers the best value for their money everyday , everywhere .
In the past two years of the pandemic , we ’ ve witnessed not just the growth but also the necessity and opportunities of commerce . However , with it came the unprecendented threat of competition from all corners of the globe . My wish is for the local retail industry , including its supply chains , to continue to find ways to improve , innovate , and be the best option for the Filipino consumer .”
George Platzer Store Manager , IKEA Philippines
“ Although we are experiencing another rapid rise in COVID infections as we approach 2022 , I see a positive retail recovery this year . I can see that Filipinos are now learning how to live with the COVID-19 and gaining confidence in doing things as usual , with the necessary safety precautions . The same goes for businesses . Currently , more than 50 % of the Philippine population has been vaccinated ; 75 % in Metro Manila . I see this as a good development for retail . At the early onset of this pandemic , there were a lot of uncertainties ; today , businesses are starting to learn how to continue operations with the virus still on . With this , 2022 looks like a year of rebound or recovery for retail .
My wish for the retail industry is to have access to more innovative retail solutions or channels to reach customers so that it can adapt to the varying needs of times , for instance , this pandemic . If more and more retailers ( big and small ) can leverage on the use of retail technologies , e . g . ecommerce , delivery apps , etc , the retail impact of unavoidable situations can be minimized .”
The pandemic continuously and severely altered the retail landscape from the shift towards online shopping , accelerated technology , increased contactless payments , and innovative customer experience . Being prepared for the uncertain future in the marketplace requires forward and transformational thinking . The current situation has already yielded an opportunity to reset business strategies , operations , and priorities . As a result , companies need technology upgrades and agile systems to handle and engage the newest customer scenarios and behaviors .
For 2022 retail priorities , we need to think and plan for our physical and online stores as one . We must upgrade and carefully define our customers ’ in-store and online shopping journey experiences through technology and automation .
Margot Torres Managing Director , Mcdonald ’ s Philippines
Ms . Lorraine Belo-Cincochan
President and Chief Executive Officer , Wilcon Depot
“ In 2021 , we have made significant leaps in learning how to live and thrive in this pandemic . Vaccination played a very critical role in keeping Filipinos better protected against the more dangerous effects of the virus , and it boosted consumer confidence . This was supported by balanced efforts of the government and the private sector in encouraging Filipino consumers to go back to the things they ’ ve missed , safely .
We ended the year with a glimpse on how life post pandemic could be , families and friends reuniting , businesses recovering revenues . While we were not able to sustain the momentum entering 2022 , I remain optimistic that this year will be better because of what we have learned from these past 2 years .
I encourage everyone to reset their mindset from crisis response to growth . We need to accept that the COVID-19 will be part of our daily lives . Accepting this reality will allow us to get to know how our customers and how the landscape has changed for good . This will also make us plan smarter , mine opportunities faster , and execute better , all while ensuring that the health and safety of our people and our customers .”