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Five Key Growth Trends for Retailing in Asia Pacific

June 2018

The Asian retailing industry is undergoing transformative changes that are creating new opportunities for retailers. This report covers five key trends that retailers must understand to grow their businesses within Asia: the changing consumer, the rise of India and China, the modernisation of grocery retailing, the transformation of fashion retailing and the rise of digital commerce.

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Changing consumers require different tactics

Consumers in Asia are undergoing four major transformations: urbanisation, more single households, ageing and increasing wealth. Retailers must adapt to these changes to remain relevant.

China and India are the strongest growth markets

India and China combined will account for 68% of absolute growth in retail sales in Asia Pacific between 2012 and 2017. Most of the retail channels in these countries will grow. These countries allow for unparalleled opportunities in the region for retailers.

Emerging markets are embracing modern grocery

While traditional grocery remains strong in emerging Asian economies, more consumers are turning to modern formats, especially forecourt retail and convenience stores.

Fashion retail is transforming

Shoppers are becoming more comfortable with buying fashion online –slightly more than 20% of fashion is sold online in Asia –but they are spending more in sporting goods stores to try on and learn about performance products. Consumers are also embracing fast fashion retailers for their affordable styles.

The power of digital is undeniable

Digital commerce will continue to gain share in retailing in Asia. However, the digital landscape differs by country. South Korea and China will lead the way, with the highest penetration rates for digital commerce, followed by Taiwan, India and Japan. Emerging markets will be a distant third.


Key findings

Asian Consumers in 2022

Asia will continue its rapid urbanisation
Single households will grow the fastest
Median ages will differ in 2022
Emerging markets will experience strong income growth
7-Eleven adapts to Japan’s changing demographics

China and India will Drive Growth in Asia Pacific

The fastest growing channels in China and India
Food safety drives growth in homewares in China
Kirana stores will remain dominant in grocery retailing in India
The race is on to win in Indian digital commerce

The Modernisation of Grocery in Emerging Markets

Modern grocery channels growing quickly in emerging markets
Supermarkets and hypermarkets appeal to shoppers
Convenience stores bring modernity to traditional shopping
Big C in Thailand serves shoppers “Whenever and Wherever”

The Distribution of Fashion is Changing

Digital commerce is the fastest growing channel
Fast fashion outpaces specialists’ growth
Sports good stores benefit from rise in sportswear
Inditex keeps its eye on Asian expansion

The Rise of Digital Commerce

Asia Pacific is home to the largest internet user base
Digital commerce development varies by country
Marketplace model dominates digital commerce
Zalora brings high street fashion to Southeast Asia


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