Philippine retailers hopeful of recovery

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine retailers remain hopeful of the industry’s recovery despite external factors that may affect operations.

“So far the outlook this year is positive,” Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) president Rosemarie Bosch-Ong told reporters in an interview.

She referred to first quarter figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), which showed that retail trade has been posting growth since the second quarter of 2021.

Latest PSA data showed that the gross value added in retail trade in the first quarter amounted to P605 billion, an eight percent increase from the P559 billion recorded in the same quarter last year.

“We expect the second quarter to be even better than the first quarter,” Ong said.

She said the retail industry is seeing improved foot traffic with more people going out as the economy continues to open.

“People are starting to go out, and even visiting the malls. I think things are getting back into shape, but I hope nothing escalates. For example, prices of oil are rising, which will affect all of us. And of course the depreciation of the peso. Hopefully we can address all of those,” Ong said.

Meanwhile, Ong acknowledged that the retail industry is affected by global logistical issues, saying that container shortages have resulted in a longer lead time for shipments.

“I think the lead time has been prolonged. So retailers have to strategize. Like in the case of Wilcon, we double our orders. We make sure we have items on the shelf,” Ong said.

She explained that the normal lead time before the container shortage would be about two weeks, but it has now doubled to one month, depending on the origin of the shipments.

“So it’s like the volumes have suddenly increased. For two years, we were on lockdown. There was not much economic activity. Suddenly, all the economies are ramping up and the orders are coming in. And of course we’re also experiencing what’s happening in China. China is now on lockdown because of their zero-Covid policy,” Ong said.

Asked how retailers are dealing with all the challenges, Ong said retailers need to be resilient.

Ong expressed support for the proposal of various business groups for a simplified alert level system by using a color-coded traffic light approach, where a red-yellow-green will be used to mean high-medium-low alert levels.

This was among the suggestions of a consultative group composed of private sector representatives, medical, data and economic experts led by Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion.

The group recommended the use of two metrics for the alert level system, namely, healthcare utilization rates (HCUR) or the number of cases hospitalized due to Covid and ADAR (average daily attack rate), or the number of infections per thousand people.

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with