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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

SM Retail retains crown as top retailer in PH

Philippines — Euromonitor International has released its latest ‘Top 100 retailers in Asia 2022’ report featuring four familiar players from the Philippine business sector in the SEA rankings. Leading the market is SM Retail, the retail giant with a portfolio of supermarkets, department stores, and specialty stores, which landed at the eighth spot for the whole region recording $5b in sales for 2021.

Meanwhile, the other three Philippine retail firms included in the list are pharmaceutical company Mercury Drug sitting at the 11th spot with $3.6b in sales; following closely at the 12th spot is the grocery retailer Puregold Price Club with $2.9b in sales; and lastly Robinsons Retail stands at 16th spot recording a $2.3b in sales. All four PH firms, including SM Retail, recorded an improvement in their SEA rankings.

For this year’s list SEA Ranking, the Singapore-based global consumer internet company Sea took the number one spot for the region. Sea is the parent company of Shopee, the leading e-commerce site for the region.

For the whole of Asia, Alibaba Group of China and JD.com, another Chinese e-commerce company, were named top firms.

According to Euromonitor’s report, the state of retailing in SEA is largely fragmented. SEA is home to over 500 million people that have diverse ethnicities, cultures, religions as well as diverse shopping habits.

“Conquering this market is complex. Regional e-commerce players must create localised strategies like search engine optimisation for respective countries and languages or product lines catered to various cultural needs,” said Euromonitor.

Furthermore, according to the general overview of retailing in the Philippines from Euromonitor, e-commerce has had a presence in the Philippines for a few years, but its sales hold a noticeably lower share of overall retailing than in its neighbouring Southeast Asian markets because Filipinos are strongly accustomed to shopping via in-store retailing channels. The experience of shopping in-store is something that e-commerce can not replicate, but the pandemic forced Filipinos to adopt e-commerce out of necessity.

Additionally, shopping centres remain the primary shopping destinations in the Philippines, despite being mandated to have limited operation during quarantine periods. Essential retailers like supermarkets and drugstores/para pharmacies remained open in shopping centres so they still experienced foot traffic in 2021.

On the other hand, customer experience when shopping in-store and customer safety when shopping online, in terms of delivery and handling of products, are chief considerations among Filipinos when shopping.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Shopee’s parent company named top retailer in SEA

Singapore – Sea, the parent company of leading e-commerce platform in the region, Shopee, bags the top spot as the top retailer for the Southeast Asia region based on sales in 2021, as seen from the latest data of Euromonitor International. This was two places up from last year’s rankings where in the previous report, Sea fell behind Indonesia’s e-commerce Tokopedia, the top retailer for the said year, followed by Seven & I Holdings, the holding company of 7-Eleven. 

Sea recorded sales of $16.06b 2021. It’s the same brands showing up for the top three retailers in the region only their places shuffled – Tokopedia ended second with $12.88b in sales, followed by Seven & I Holdings with $10.85b. 

Meanwhile, Chinese retail & tech giant Alibaba comes in fourth, followed by Indonesia-founded convenience store Alfamart. Indonesian conglomerate Salim Group also makes a comeback, while we see two Thai retailers entering the upper 10 – Central Retail Corp and Charoen Pokphand Group. 

In the top 10, Vietnam’s Mobile World JSC enters the list, while Philippines’ SM Retail also retains its crown as one of the region’s top retailers.

The report notes that the retail industry in Southeast Asia is largely fragmented, where growth primarily comes from companies with a regional presence. The biggest pattern we see for the period is the dominance of e-commerce platforms such as Shopee, Tokopedia, and Alibaba reflecting the pace of channel shifts. E-commerce players outperformed other distribution channels, especially in markets with 

In 2021, e-commerce grew more than 30% in Southeast Asia and is expected to reach over $165b by 2026. This makes the territory a lucrative target for global e-commerce players.

The report notes that while this is the case, a general or broad strategy will not work. Conquering the market is complex and regional e-commerce players must create localised strategies catered to various cultural needs.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Top retailers in PH: SM Retail, 3 local firms lead rankings

Philippines – The pandemic flipped everything on 360 degrees, and to look at the current rankings of the top companies in the business sector is to view it from a whole new perspective. Market research firm Euromonitor International has recently released its list of the top companies in the retail industry in Asia for 2020, and in the Philippines, a majority of those that were leading the in the year 2019 are still the ones that reigned in 2020.

Out of the 10 in the list, the top five all registered steady growth in sales in 2020, retaining their standings from the past year. SM Retail, which holds a nationwide portfolio of department stores, supermarkets, and specialty stores, still came out as the leading firm in the sector. It was followed by pharmaceutical company Mercury Drug, with grocery retailer Puregold Price Club coming out on the third spot. Meanwhile, another giant in retail, Robinsons Retail Holdings, registered neither a drop nor an improvement in sales as well, landing the top fourth spot, while specialty store group Seven & I Holdings rounded the top five. 

Top retailers in the Philippines

Three of the top firms, which are also all international companies – beauty and wellness AS Watson Group, China-based Alibaba Group, and Shopee’s parent company Sea – all recorded improvements in sales landing the 6th, 8th, and 9th spots respectively.

Meanwhile, local grocery retailer Metro Retail Stores Group was shown to drop sales in 2020, with international home retail Wilcon Depot also demonstrating the same movement in sales.

SM Retail, which registered $5.4b in sales in 2020 came out as the 9th leading retailer in the Southeast Asia region. For the region, Tokopedia took the crown with $11.7b in total sales for the year. 

Meanwhile, for the whole of Asia, it was China’s Alibaba Group Holding and JD.com that were named as top firms. 

The pandemic remains to be the biggest determinant of the rankings, where the lockdown in the Philippines had become one of the longest globally, which started in March of 2020, and is still presently in reinforcement. According to Euromonitor, this affected the way people chose to fulfill their essentials, where mixed retailers were the worst hit, with consumers opting for specialist retailers, presenting a convenient way to obtain what they needed in stock. 

With people cooped up at home, the current situation panned out greatly for e-commerce, and this showed with Shopee’s parent firm Sea registering an increase in sales. According to the report, the category had already been growing at a double-digit pace pre-lockdown but this was accelerated in 2020 with people maximizing the ease of online retail. 

An interesting growing trend in 2020 in the Philippines is community stores, or stores that are situated in nearby communities and neighborhoods. These existed prior to COVID-19, and the increase in popularity can be attributed to the presence of Alfamart, a minimart that is a hybrid between a supermarket and a convenience store. 

Alfamart is a chain of convenience stores from Indonesia, with over 10,000 stores across Indonesia and the Philippines. Euromonitor said the concept increased in relevance in 2020 as consumers looked for the most convenient ways to complete their shopping trips, with the trend expected to continue further.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

USANA Philippines retains top supplement brand title

Philippines – For the second year in a row, market research brand Euromonitor International has named USANA Philippines as the top vitamins and dietary supplements brand in the country. The ranking is based on retail value share among all supplement brands in the Philippines.

David Mulham, USANA’s chief sales officer said that it was not surprising for the Philippine leg of the brand to gain such recognition, as the country’s market is one of the most exciting and strongest regions.

Commenting on the recognition, Aurora Gaston, vice president of USANA’s Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand markets said, “I am proud to see our market receive this incredible title for the second year in a row. The Philippines has been part of USANA for 11 years, and it makes me so happy to see how much we’ve grown. This award is due to the hard work of our team here in The Philippines and the support we receive from the USANA home office. I would like to thank our Filipino Associates for trusting our products and helping us become one of the most successful direct selling companies in the country.”

Euromonitor International is composed of a global network of analysts for every key trend and driver, providing reports that offer strategic data, analysis, and consumer trends.