Company News • 20.03.2015

Innovation necessary for sustainability and competitiveness of Asian retail industry

Only retailers who become true technology companies will survive

Dr Alan Treadgold is a retail sector specialist. He works as an independent...
Dr Alan Treadgold is a retail sector specialist. He works as an independent adviser and consultant to a range of retailers globally on marketing and strategy issues.
Source: i2i Events Group

The Asian retail industry needs to drive continuous innovation in order to ensure it caters to the needs of tech savvy consumers in the region and stays ahead of global competition, according to speakers at the Retail Congress Asia Pacific this year. 

According to Dr Alan Treadgold, a global advisor from The University of Oxford Said Business School, “IT has now become an integral source of how retailers do business” and  “winning retailers need to be both engineers and artists.”  He said that key attributes retailers in Asia will need to focus on in order to be successful are being digitally literate, customer centric, communicating strong clear values and identity, executing with a single view and above all, having an appetite for innovation.

Dr Treadgold also noted that delivery is a key battleground for retailers in Asia and that retailers are trialling increasingly radical delivery solutions, in their bid to stay ahead of the competition.

Roger Egan, Co-Founder and CEO of Redmart, commented that e-commerce players going offline will have an advantage over bricks and mortar retailers going online and that “only those retailers who become true technology companies will survive”.   He also noted that with the increasing use of smartphones in the region, the growing demand for convenience from consumers, so the number of on demand retail marketplaces in the region were likely to grow and disrupt pure play e-commerce players and bricks and mortar retailers.

Virtual stores have been touted as one of the next big retail trends in Asia, and this year’s Lifetime achievement Award was presented to Dr Seung-Han Lee, the Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Tesco Homeplus Korea, who helped to launch the world’s first ever virtual retail store in Korea and has been devoted to reform and innovation in the retail sector. 

Ian McGarrigle, Chairman of the World Retail Congress Series, said: “This year’s Retail Congress Asia Pacific provided some truly inspirational insights for delegates.  It is becoming clear that retailers in Asia need to truly innovate and embrace technology in all its forms if they are to stay ahead of the competition, whether that is bringing technology into the store or trialing new online technology solutions, retailers should push the boundaries and dare to be different!.”

This year’s 5th annual Retail Congress Asia Pacific saw over 65 leading retail experts gather at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre in Singapore to share and discuss their insights and discuss future trends with hundreds of delegates.  Key retailers speaking at the event included Ravi Thakran, Group President of LVMH Southeast Asia, Jose Gomez, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Mango, Masaya Ueno, Director of Rakuten Asia, Roger Egan, CEO and Co-Founder of RedMart and Tobias Wasmuht, CEO of SPAR China, among many others.  

Source: i2i Events Group

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