Biggest retail event in PH focuses on future-proofing the industry

The Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) is again staging its annual flagship market, this time focusing on how to help the industry overcome inevitable challenges. The organization opened its 24th National Retail Conference and Stores Asia Expo (NRCE) at the second level of SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on Thursday (August 10).

With the theme ‘Future-Proofing Retail,’ NRCE 2017 aims to share tips and solutions that would help local retailers cope with the fast-changing business environment in the digital age.

Just like in the previous years, NRCE is divided into two events, held in adjacent spaces. The highlight is the two-day conference where invited industry experts hold talks and facilitate panel discussions. The other half of the venue is dedicated to a trade exhibit of about 100 suppliers and business solution providers.

Doing business in modern times
“The conference is designed for sharing of insights with PRA members and other retailers,” explained PRA President Atty. Paul Santos. “The expo will feature business solutions and technology that will help retailers solve their business problems or find out what tools and services their operations need.”

During a short chat with Tech and Lifestyle Journal, Santos discussed how modern retail landscape is changing for the better. “In the 1980s and 1990s, shopping centers are just mere shopping centers. Now, retail spaces are integrated more deeply into communities. Real estate developers have taken this into account. Integrated developments combine residential, office, and shopping centers into a single location.”

Santos also reiterated that a lot of international retailers are coming in to take advantage of the country’s robustly expanding economy. “The Philippines is an inviting market for a lot of foreign retailers,” he said. “We welcome foreign retailers as part of the Philippine landscape. It is inevitable and is usually driven by consumer demand.”

Presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte (center) leads the ribbon-cutting rite during the opening of NRCE 2017 on August 10.

Lawmakers’ support
Meanwhile, Senator Juan Edgardo ‘Sonny’ Angara assured that the legislative branch of the government is also doing its part to support Filipino retailers through the implementation of the income tax reform, which could be set by the end of the year or early in 2018.

“If we put more disposable income in the pocket of families, that’s more money to spend for the economy and for the products of retailers,” Senator Angara said on his speech during the opening ceremony.

NRCE will last until Friday, August 11. The expo will open at 10 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. Throughout the day, the conference will have several more panel discussions with a number of experts and trade leaders. Registration fee for the conference is P9,950, while entrance to the trade exhibit is free.