• Retailers challenged by online vendors

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    The Philippine Retail Association (PRA) admitted that traditional retailing “is now facing a very challenging time” with the advent of technology and the Internet.

    Picture City President Paul Santos, standing as the overall chairman for the 22nd National Retail Conference (NRC), said that, “e-commerce and nontraditional marketing strategies” are slowly entering the retail landscape, which has prompted customers to seek validation of the products they need online.

    He added that online shopping provides cheaper choices.

    Santos also explained that this year was a challenging year for business as “Filipino buyers have so much choice” which added to the woes of the retail sector on how it can attract the buyers to purchase products from them.

    Meryll Yan, brand strategy director of One Mega Group, said that retailers should keep up with the latest trends because a product or a marketing strategy will only last for a maximum of one week at present, compared to the maximum of two to three months in the past.

    “Filipinos are also becoming richer . . . tastes are becoming sophisticated. [There is the] desire to be more and more worldly and sophisticated,” Yan added.

    Though not able to give details yet on how the retail sector is faring with the advancement of e-commerce and social network marketing, Santos said that some traditional retailers are now exploring the online market.

    “[Retailers] only use the Internet and social networking to communicate with their consumers. Some use social networking to drive consumers to their own e-commerce sites,” he said.

    Santos added that the PRA are hosting events for retailers such as the NRC and 2013 Store Expo Asia that will be attended by 700 retailers and retailer professionals to “educate partners in the latest trends” on retailing.

    Kristyn Nika M. Lazo

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