RETAIL RECOVERY. Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) president Rosemarie Ong delivers her opening remarks during the 28th National Retail Conference and Stores Asia Expo 2022 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on Thursday (Aug. 11, 2022). The PRA is optimistic the retail sector’s recovery will continue despite the rising inflation. (PNA photo by Joey O. Razon)

MANILA – The Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) remains optimistic with the retail sector’s growth trajectory despite the rising inflation rate.
 
During the 28th National Retail Conference and Stores Asia Expo 2022 in Pasay City Thursday, PRA president Rosemarie Ong said the sector is getting back from the setbacks of the pandemic and is “showing dynamic growth recovery” amid challenges, such as inflation and supply bottlenecks.
 
Inflation rate in July was 6.4 percent, higher than the 6.1 percent in June.
 
The rising inflation also tamed the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the second quarter of the year at 7.4 percent, lower than the 8.2 percent in the first quarter.
 
“I think it will continue given that there is inflation, because really, we saw the excitement of people as we go back outside. But of course, I’m still very positive that we will achieve even more,” Ong said at the sidelines of the event.
 
She added some retailers have expanded double-digit coming from a low base in 2021 as they were challenged by pandemic-related concerns like coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) Delta variant and stricter community quarantine.
 
“By and large, in retail, we are all good. We see people going back to the physical format, they are going back to face-to-face now,” Ong said, adding that the continued mobility will support the recovery and expansion of the industry.
 
The PRA executive also encouraged its members to adopt innovation and tap the opportunities brought by digital technology.
 
Tom Oliver, consultant to top Fortune 500 chief executive officers and chairman of The Tom Oliver Group, said in his keynote speech that “very few” companies were able to tap the full potential of digital technology and most retail companies were not able to use the online space efficiently.
 
“You have to understand that the future of retail is –it’s physical and digital. It’s a combination of click and brick and mortar —it’s click and mortar... The future of retail is this seamless, intuitive harmony between experiencing your brand online and experiencing it in the stores,” Oliver said. (PNA)