FAPRA aims to discover new approaches to the latest issues facing the region’s retailers and highlight innovative solutions that can help retailers differentiate themselves from competitors, to deliver greater value to their consumers.
I just came back from Chongqing, China’s 19th Asia Pacific Retailers Convention and Exhibition (APRCE), where I led the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) delegation and present the state of retailing in the country, as well Wilcon’s strategy on providing consumers with the excellent shopping experience.
During the convention, the PRA was voted to be part of the five-member Advisory Council of the Federation of Asia-Pacific Retailers Associations (FAPRA) along with China, Japan, Korea, and Singapore Retail Associations. This is such an honor and we are grateful to be voted to such an important role, considering that FAPRA membership is composed of some of the most dynamic economies, not only in Asia but in the world.
The FAPRA Advisory Council serves as the regional organization’s lead body for the discussion and decision on FAPRA-related matters. With this responsibility, we at the PRA are excited to work with fellow retail associations in further advancing the goals and advocacies of the federation to help create a seamless connection between economies and retail businesses in the region.
Serving The Region For 30 Years
FAPRA was founded in 1989. It is composed of 20 member-economies in the Asia Pacific including the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Hong Kong, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Mongolia, Turkey, Fiji, India, Kyrgyzstan, Chinese Taipei, and newly approved Sri Lanka.
For the last three decades, it has continuously implemented activities that discuss issues shared in the region and promote information exchange to contribute to the development of commerce, the improvement of retailers’ status and the improvement of citizens’ lives in the region.
China, India, and Indonesia are also three of the world’s largest market opportunities in terms of population. China and India land on number one and two spots respectively, both with over one billion population, while Indonesia is at number four, with over 200 million population, and just behind the United States. As part of the FAPRA, we are fortunate to be able to link up with our counterparts in various parts of the region. This connection also made it easier for PRA members to network with other Asia Pacific businesses in the industry.
Aprce: A Connected Community
The APRCE is the flagship project of the FAPRA and is the largest and most influential retail event in the Asia Pacific region since it was first organized in 1983 in Tokyo, Japan. It is held every two years and is one of the world’s three major retail events as well.
By conducting a convention and exhibit side-by-side, FAPRA aims to discover new approaches to the latest issues facing the region’s retailers and highlight innovative solutions that can help retailers differentiate themselves from competitors, to deliver greater value to their consumers.
As I mentioned earlier, I had the opportunity to share the development of the Philippine retail industry, which is promising with the growth of the retail trade gross value added (GVA) at 5.9 percent in 2018. The country was ranked number 18 on the top 30 developing countries for retail investment worldwide list by AT Kearney, global management consulting firm.
Retail Trends In Ph Neighbors
It was also great to hear the retail developments in neighboring countries such as Singapore, where the e-commerce market is seen to grow twice as fast compared to more mature markets like Europe and the US. The e-commerce revenue in the country is growing at a rate of 14.7 percent, and the market volume is projected to reach $8.64 billion by 2023.
In Taipei, convenience stores continue to increase with a total of 10,000 stores throughout the country, the highest density in the world. This aggressive increase is supported by various innovative services such as courier and home delivery pickups for customers.
Malaysia, on the other hand, highlighted the entry of foreign brands, mostly under the food and beverage niche with the majority of brands coming from United States, South Korea, and Japan in 2018, while the 2019 entrants were dominated by Taiwanese milk tea brands such as XingFuTang, OneZo, and ChungYangTea, among others.
With the PRA’s attendance at the APRCE 2019 and other meetings and activities conducted by FAPRA, we can see a broader picture of the retail industry in the region as well as scenarios and trends peculiar in a certain country.
I also want to share that Wilcon Depot won the International Award for Excellence in Customer Service from the FAPRA. The award is to recognize companies with outstanding achievements in the retail industry. At Wilcon, we offer a range of services that enhances the experience of the customers while at the store by utilizing technology and empowering our frontliners.