Retail roadmap: “Ready, re/set, grow!”

This year, the Philippine economy is expected to recover. This as the government has vaccinated a large population, leading to a drop in infection and hospitalization rates and gradual lifting of restrictions. The positive indications boosted consumer confidence, showing a great promise and opportunity for retailers.

To prepare and equip the retailers and business leaders for the optimistic future of the economy, the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) conducted its annual National Retail Conference and Stores Asia Expo (NRCE) to create a better roadmap for the retail industry in the post-pandemic era. The organization recognized the need of the retailers and supplier industries to expand their respective brands and businesses by providing transformative and actionable strategies as well as harnessing innovation to achieve global competitiveness.

In bringing back the country’s biggest retail industry event to the physical stage, retailers and business leaders gathered together at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City for the 28th NRCE last August 11 to 12, 2022.

Gearing up for more retail action, this year’s theme, “Retail: Ready, Re/set/, GROW!” emphasizes that it is high time to look for novel and innovative ways to get READY as we step into a new chapter, RE/SET the whole retail ecosystem by using new skills, new mindsets and new approaches to keep pace with the ever-changing needs of the consumers, and face a new beginning, head on. We aim to achieve greater success by helping each other to GROW amidst new market conditions and forces.

The two-day conference and exhibition enabled retailers to a larger scale of learning, networking, and collaboration. The NRCE committee, headed by Donnie Tantoco, president of Rustan Commercial Corp., has picked the top industry leaders to provide fresh and invaluable insights and topic discussions to the attendees that focused on social commerce, global talent trends, the metaverse as a blueprint for business, and more.

Aiding businesses to recover from setbacks and rise above the challenges, keynote speaker Tom Oliver, a consultant to top Fortune 500 CEOs and Global Group Chairman of The Tom Oliver Group, shared his eye-opening topic about how to inspire, innovate, and transform into a fearless future and retail with purpose.

President of Central Marketing Group, Thailand’s leading retail conglomerate, Edwin Hawson, delivered his speech, Soaring Beyond Borders, which focused on how retailers can surpass and overcome all challenges in the industry.

Speakers included Cathy Ileto, APR, vice president Corporate Communications of SM Retail; Gary de Ocampo, president and managing director of Kantar Philippines; Chay Mondejar-Saputil, eCommerce and Retail Vertical lead of Meta Philippines; Yas Neri-Soyao, co-founder and CEO of Shoppertainmentlive; George Royeca, CEO of Angkas; Rina Janine Go, chief merchandising, marketing, and distribution officer of Prince Retail Group; Roland Ros, founder of KUMU; Sean Darilay, principal & talent solutions business leader of Mercer Philippines; Karan Gopwani, deputy head of Retail Operations of Vision Express Philippines; Naresh Ahuja, chairman and CEO of ETP Group (Singapore); Margot Torres, managing director of McDonalds Philippines; Jos Ortega, chairman and CEO of Havas Ortega; Bianca Gutierrez, associate director for Supply Chain of Johnson & Johnson (J&J); Georg Platzer, store manager of Ikea Philippines; Andoni Albert, CEO of Kation Technologies; Don Rae, senior advisor of Globe Business; Sunshine Aquino, AVP of Unilab Consumer Health; Roberto Claudio, president of GS1 Philippines; and Edric Mendoza, chairman of Homeschool Global.

They shared extensive learning sessions to attendees on how to navigate the path to recovery.

The NRCE Committee also launched a new segment called the NRCE Retail Mentorship Program designed to provide an exclusive two-way learning setup where mentor and mentee pairs can have a healthy exchange of ideas and experiences to cultivate an open discussion that can advance their respective careers and businesses.

I believe that when retailers work together and practice resiliency, there’s no doubt that the retail industry will emerge victorious and stronger than ever.