World Retail Voice Blog Post
Asia-Pac: Epicentre of the new world of retail
Guest blog post from Dr Alan Treagold, Global Retail Advisor and Advisory Board Member, Oxford Institute of Retail Management, The University of Oxford Saïd Business School
Asia-Pac is the most exciting region in the global retail world. No ifs, no qualifiers. It simply is. Of course, I have to confess to a certain bias. I spend a lot of time in the Asia-Pac region and any reason to experience the cultures, the food, the hospitality and the sheer energy is always welcome. But it’s the retail landscape in Asia-Pac that inspires me more than everything else. There are compelling reasons to suggest that Asia-Pac really is at the epicentre of much of the change that is reshaping the retail industry globally. Shoppers in this region are not just young in age, they’re young in outlook too. This is important. It means they embrace change and are receptive to new ways of engaging with retailers and with brands. Of course, technology is the great enabler of new approaches to shopper engagement and here too Asia-Pac is at the centre of change. Not only are manufacturers in the region developing wave after wave of new products, shoppers too are showing themselves to be hugely enthusiastic to use them in their lives generally and in their shopping behaviours especially. Click and collect? Robotised distribution? Virtual stores with endless aisles? Web-hosting platforms for international retailers? Entirely new go-to-market approaches? All right here, right now. But don’t forget physical retail too. More shopping centres will be built in Asia-Pac in the next five years than in the entire rest of the world. Of course, China and India get much of the attention. But the transformation in retail and consumer markets is happening across the region. When I visit Hanoi and I see a multi-billion dollar development fully tenanted with global as well as local retailers and being shopped by shoppers with smartphones welded to their hands I know I’m seeing the new landscape of retailing. And it’s very appropriate for WRC Asia-Pac to be taking place in Singapore, where shopping isn’t just a past-time, it’s a crucially important strategic platform of an entire economy that is seeking to nurture and incubate innovation, not least in the retailer-property owner-shopper interaction. Asia-Pac as the most exciting region in the global retail world? Oh yes. See you in Singapore.
Dr Alan Treadgold is speaking at the 2015 Retail Congress Asia Pacific, in the session 'Navigating the New Retail Landscape: What it looks like and how to be successful in it' on Tuesday 17 March