2020 has not been kind to businesses around the world. With the exception of a handful of industries, sales and revenue have been in decline; thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. The retail industry in particular has been hit rather hard. The global retail industry will suffer a 3.5 percent sales decline in 2020, according to global market research company Euromonitor International.

However, there have been some promising signs that point towards an optimistic recovery within the retail industry, especially within the APAC region.

Asia Pacific recorded USD 5.5 trillion sales in retailing in 2019 and is expected to recover the fastest from COVID-19. The region’s forecasted 1.5 percent sales decline in 2020 is set to pick up to 2019 level, with a 6 percent growth in 2021, according to Euromonitor’s new report ‘Shopping Reinvented – How Retailing Industry can Safeguard its Future in the Decade ahead‘.

Non-store retailing, with e-commerce as the main driver, will grow by 8.8 percent in 2020-2024 in Asia. As consumers increasingly turn to e-commerce, markets like South Korea and China managed to record a strong surge in sales in 2020, with e-commerce intermediaries, marketplaces, delivery platforms and social media services as the main drivers.

Yet, physical outlets will remain a critical part of the shopping journey with innovation and leveraged experiences in physical stores to become key to better serve more informed and connected shoppers.

Shifts in future households and consumption patterns will form tomorrow’s shoppers. “The new Generation Z, accounting for over 24 percent of Asia’s total households in 2030, will take over from the millennials and Generation X as heads of households, impacting the family consumption patterns in Asia,” says Emily Leung, analyst at Euromonitor International.

“With COVID-19 speeding up the rate of digital transformation, the application of technologies to address this segment will help equip retailers for the future.” concludes Leung.


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