2022 PRA Magazine Retailing Magazine 1st Quarter Edition - Page 12

PH RETAIL LEADERS OUTLOOK MESSAGE FOR 2022

Manuel C . Alberto President and COO , Metro Retail Stores Group , Inc .
“ The past two years have been very challenging for the retail industry , but this 2022 I am optimistic that we will continue on our path to recovery .
Armed with lessons learned from this difficult period , 2022 is fortunately not as uncertain . Businesses are now better equipped to face the continuing challenges brought on by the pandemic and are gearing to get back on track .
It is imperative for businesses to evolve with their customers . COVID-19 underscored the need to optimize inventory by aligning product offerings with what consumers demand . Retailers have also elevated their digital presence in response to changing consumer behavior , while physical stores continue to put health and safety at the core of operations . Online shopping is ramping up , but we expect that customers will still want in-person retail experience . Enabled by smart technologies , this can be made more convenient by infusing the amenities of online shopping into physical interaction .
I wish for our recovery to remain stable . I am hopeful that we will have a healthier population , thus a healthier economy as we continue vaccination efforts nationwide . The retail sector can contribute greatly by continuing to promote a safe environment for our customers and our people .”
Rosemarie Bosch-Ong SEVP-Chief Operating Officer , Wilcon Depot President , PRA
“ As we claim a foreseeable recovery in our retail sector , regardless of the changes and challenges , retailers must unite , create , and establish a better and more competitive marketplace more than ever .
We are already poised for the modern business landscape as more retailers , companies , and brands are making real-time changes in responding to the business trends . Everything has accelerated , and we can see the blurring of the line between the brick and mortar stores and digital platforms . In addition , the omnichannel strategy has come to life as our way to elevate the customer experience . Retailers must invest in automation software , enhanced communications , personalized and exciting in-store experience , or even customized online shopping platforms to continuously make a significant impact on customers ' expectations , delight , and retention .
Since most retailers have taken on the challenge to adapt and respond quickly to the emerging changes , I am looking forward that this year will be an exciting time for the retail industry to execute all the learnings and plans we have gained from the past two years .
Retail is ever-changing , but I am hopeful that this 2022 , many retailers ' goals and plans will become a reality and success , especially with the new developing character of customers in making up for the lost time with increased spending in shopping . Revenge shopping will serve as the latest version of normalcy for customers and the lifeline of many retailers . It will result in expected increased confidence of customers to shop again at retail stores . Let ' s be ready to give our customers more experiential and remarkable shopping .”
“ I remain positive about retail in 2022 because of two observations throughout the pandemic .
First : When cases decline and restrictions loosen , customers return . This was particularly evident in Q4 2021 when restrictions on minors were loosened and Filipinos quickly restarted shopping , dining and leisure activities . We all saw the effect on our respective businesses . I believe 2022 will be similar . The current situation is challenging but it is temporary . Cases are starting to decline and this will encourage consumer confidence . 2022 has only just begun . We still have runway for growth . 2021 started slowly but ended up being better than 2020 . I expect 2022 to be better than 2021 .
Second : The pandemic has inspired invention and innovation among retailers . To thrive , not just survive , in these times . You can see this in the new formats , products and brands that were born these past two years . I expect to see even more innovation from retailers throughout 2022 . Both online and on-ground .
We still have much to look forward to in 2022 . So let ’ s continue to stay positive . Let ’ s remind one another that this situation is temporary . Let ’ s continue being brave and innovative . And let ’ s continue working together to bounce back better .”
“ We have braved the past two years full of challenges , uncertainties and change . Armored with new-found resilience and ingenuity , I am hopeful that we will emerge stronger . The pandemic forced us to transform the way we do business ; becoming more agile , more efficient and more connected . This is resulting in long-term benefits .
Looking forward , one thing I wish for the retail industry is to continue supporting each other and continue taking care of our consumers . The pandemic has pushed our values front and center . Let us keep striving to be an advocate for positive change in our community . Let ’ s do great things in 2022 .”
Mr . William T . Belo Founder and Chairman Emeritus , Wilcon Depot
Steven Tan President , SM Supermalls
Kat Costas SEA eCommerce Marketing Lead & Marketing Manager ( Philippines & Distributor ),
Levi Strauss Philippines , Inc .
Looking ahead this 2022 , retailers will continually adapt and create more business opportunities . Regardless of the uncertainties and changes we ’ ve faced in the retail industry , retailers must actively prioritize formulating strategies that will make them distinctively stand out in the market . It will be a key factor on how to navigate the future retailing landscape . We also need to put high on the list the need to invest and leverage on digital transformation that can create a seamless shopping experience both in-store and online .
As we look to the year ahead , retailers must never forget that there is no better moment than right now to reboot and reinvent our businesses to provide a better experience for our customers . Together , # WeWILCONquer this next normal .