2004 Apr Issue
Cover Story
JDA celebrates 10 years in Asia
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Retail Asia-Pacific Top 500: Messages
Mainland retailers out to establish foothold in Hong Kong
2004 FMI Show zeros in on growth solutions
Ambient 2004 reveals interest towards gifts, young and trendy products


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Retail Asia-Pacific Top 500: Messages


“When we initially mooted the idea of the Retail Asia-Pacific Top 500 project, we were, quite honestly, both excited and awed.

We were excited because this was truly a landmark initiative. It was an initiative that was never done before in the Asian retail industry and one that would eventually present an interesting database of useful and valuable information of the industry. We were awed because of the scale and the magnitude of what we were attempting to do and accomplish. Asian retailing was after all a highly non-homogenous industry with a widespread diversity in its state of maturity; stages of development; levels of sophistication; sizes and formats of operations; etc.

We have enjoyed very much working on the project and tackling its many-faceted challenges. We are now delighted that our labour and enthusiasm have borne fruits. The first-ever Retail Asia-Pacific Top 500 listing is now published. This has been made possible by the shared-value and conviction, professionalism, counsel and support so generously given to us by our programme partners, our sponsors and the many industry leaders across Asia. Among our programme partners, we are particularly appreciative and grateful for the efforts and contribution of Euromonitor International, our principal market information programme partner, KPMG and our sponsors, Visa International and Epson.

We see tremendous upside potential in the further development of the Retail Asia-Pacific Top 500. We see the Top 500 beyond merely being a systematic and organised approach to ranking the Who’s Who in Asian retailing. We see it as possibly providing insights into experiences, lessons and drivers of successful retailing among Asia’s major and dominant retailers.

Hopefully then, the Retail Asia-Pacific Top 500 would help to provide some form of bench-marking for Asian retailers and an impetus for business growth and business development”

Steven HL Goh, Executive Chairman,Retail Asia

Daniel Melone, General Manager-Asia Pacific, Euromonitor International


“Euromonitor International is honoured to be the official market information provider of the first-ever ranking of the top 500 retail companies in the Asia-Pacific. Our business relationship with programme partner RETAIL ASIA goes back many years and, together, we have combined our strengths to acknowledge the efforts made by the retail community in the region.

As a specialist in Consumer Goods and Retailing Research, Euromonitor International truly believes in recognising the retail industry by creating this unique listing of retail organisations in the Asia-Pacific. This combined effort between Asia’s leading retail magazine and the world’s largest strategic consumer and retail research firm gives an overview of the great achievements made by both major and smaller retailers.

Euromonitor International has been servicing 75% of the world’s major multinational consumer-goods manufacturers and retailers for the past 30 years with its online databases and market reports, providing insights into both developed and hard-to-research developing markets. Consumer-goods manufacturers have been eagerly joined by government agencies, packaging specialists and libraries, in droves, embracing Euromonitor’s penchant for braving country-level and global perspectives of the sometimes puzzling markets in which firms do battle each day.

We all know how challenging the retail environment in Asia has been in the past few years and changes are still taking place in many Asian economies. Western retailers continue to invest in this region in the hope of increasing revenue to compensate for disappointing results at home. As if this has not created enough difficulties, Asian retailers had to face the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak, coupled with a worldwide economic recession, the Iraq war and global terrorism.

However, a number of Asian retailers are to be admired for their achievements both nationally and regionally as they have been able to compete successfully with the western giants during these difficult times. They are familiar names to us, and many have been around for as long as we can recall. Whether it is a Giant hypermarket in Malaysia or a 7-Eleven convenience store in Japan, it might surprise some of us to know that these retailers are changing with the times, and still growing.

From PT Hero in Indonesia to NTUC FairPrice in Singapore, large retailers are moving into different retail formats to try to retain existing consumers and attract new consumers simultaneously. These large retailers are growing every which way they can to become larger retailers.

Congratulations to all the companies that made it to the inaugural Retail Asia-Pacific Top 500. We certainly enjoyed researching it and we are already looking forward to the next edition.”

Nick Debnam, Chairman, KPMG Consumer Markets Practice, Asia Pacific


“I congratulate RETAIL ASIA in putting together the inaugural Retail Asia-Pacific Top 500 ranking. KPMG welcomes the initiative and are pleased to be the principal program partner for this exciting new index, which should provide insights into the diverse retail marketplaces in the Asia-Pacific. We believe the survey will be of value to both retailers and related businesses based in Asia and also multinational retail companies looking to Asia for future business expansion.

KPMG is a global network of professional services firms providing audit, tax and advisory services through industry-focused, talented professionals who deliver value for the benefit of their clients and communities. With 100,000 people worldwide, KPMG member firms span 715 cities in 148 countries.

Fundamental to KPMG’s approach is our focus on industry sectors. The KPMG Consumer Markets team understands the retail market challenges, regulatory requirements, and best practices to add value for our clients. We help premier clients address a complex array of challenges and identify opportunities to enhance performance and shareholder value.
We are delighted to participate in the Retail Asia-Pacific Top 500 programme in 2004 and look forward to supporting it in the years to come.”

Munenori Ando, General Manager, System Device Sales Division,
Epson Singapore


“It is Epson’s great pleasure to have been a part of the development of the Retail Asia-Pacific Top 500. The contribution made over the years by RETAIL ASIA in the regional retail industry has been phenomenal. Now this first-of-its-kind ranking initiative fulfils the need for an effective benchmark of performance success from which all players may profit and gain industry knowledge.

In addition to being a leading global provider of digital imaging technology, electronics, robotics and precision machinery, Epson is also one of the pioneers in developing the open architecture for the POS environment. Our POS innovations have helped clients set and meet unprecedented standards of customer service and operational efficiency. With our growing global network, we are continually changing with the times, adapting to the trends and evolving to meet — and anticipate — new needs. Our clients’ continued confidence and trust enables us to look back with pride upon the considerable role we have played in advancing the regional retail industry.

Retail in Asia continues to grow in range, volume and sophistication, even in the wake of global political and economic uncertainties. It is gratifying to see how Asia’s significance as a retail hub continues to draw western investors and encourage the introduction and development of goods and services specifically targeted at this regional market. This, in turn, encourages more innovative sales and marketing strategies from retailers to attract customers.

With the expertise and support of its programme partners, the Retail Asia-Pacific Top 500 will continue to provide a successful insight into the dynamics of retail in Asia. Not just a mere listing of regional “winners”, it is also an effective impetus for development and growth.
Our heartiest congratulations to all the companies who have made it into this current listing, and our encouragement to all towards even greater efforts in the years to come.”

Philip Yen, Executive Vice-president, Emerging Products and Technology,
Visa Asia Pacific


“Visa is delighted to be the principal sponsor of this ground-breaking study, the Retail Asia-Pacific Top 500. With over 22 million Visa acceptance locations across 150 countries worldwide, the retail industry forms the cornerstone of Visa’s proposition to its cardholders — ubiquitous acceptance. Visa’s support for this first-ever ranking of the 500 retail companies in the Asia-Pacific is testament to the importance we place on our retailers who accept and enable Visa transactions across the millions of outlets worldwide.

Visa has always taken a leadership role in developing new payment products, standards and technologies. This includes initiatives such as the migration to EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa), the global standard for secure and interoperable smart-card technology. With over 20 million Visa EMV smart cards across the region, this is rapidly becoming part of everyday life for consumers and merchants in the Asia-Pacific. EMV offers merchants improved operational efficiencies, reduced transactions times and enhanced customer satisfaction through a more convenient and secure payment method.

In the area of e-commerce, Visa’s secure online authentication service, known as ‘Verified by Visa’, provides an additional level of online protection for both merchants and cardholders alike, bringing the same level of convenience, acceptance and security in the virtual world as they enjoy in the physical world today.

With 21,000 member financial institutions, Visa International is the world’s leading payment brand with nearly US$3 trillion spent at the retail point of sale (POS) or withdrawn from ATMs using Visa cards. Visa is pioneering the creation of u-commerce, or universal commerce, the ability to conduct commerce anywhere, anytime and any way. In the Asia-Pacific, Visa has a greater market share than all other payment card brands combined with 62% of all card purchases at the retail POS being made using Visa cards. There are currently 200 million Visa-branded cards in the region. During the 12 months ended 31 December 2003, US$437 billion was spent at retail POS or withdrawn from ATMs in the Asia-Pacific using Visa cards. Visa Asia Pacific’s Internet address is .”

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