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  2004 Oct Issue
   
Cover Story
Retail ranking marks beginning of new era in retailing in Asia-Pacific
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Other Stories
Experiential Retailing shapes The Hour Glass
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Retail Thailand'04 - getting bigger and better in serving up new business
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More new business ideas at GLF2004
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HECNA - member companies keen to take products to Asia






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Cover Story
Retail ranking marks beginning of new era in retailing in Asia-Pacific


In the blink of an eye, we are near the climax of the Retail Asia-Pacific Top 500 retailer ranking when the very first Retailer of the Year award is presented, to recognise the achievements of a very special and unique market-leading retailer of our very own Asia-Pacific region.

Once upon a time…

Where did it all begin? In short, RETAIL ASIA 's leading lights came to Euromonitor International proposing to bring Euromonitor's almost underground cultstatus market information onto a public platform. A first in many ways for both, it was quickly set in motion when excitement overcame old ways and methods — faster than you could say “Asia-Pacific lacks such a standard for us to begin to benchmark ourselves against!” R ETAIL A SIA and Euromonitor had done their one small step for mankind. Or so we would like to think.

An inclusive methodology

To begin with, Euromonitor compiled the leading country-level or, more accurately, economy-level retailers, for 14 Asia-Pacific economies, namely, Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Together, these econonmies have consistently accounted for over 97% of the Asia-Pacific region's GDP in terms of current US dollars. (See table.)

These country-level retailers were broken down by fascia, or at least retail format/ outlet type where possible, to allow the competitive essence of the industry at a national level to filter through on a regional level.

These were then tabulated into a single ranking, based on their total retail sales at retail selling prices, allowing the industry a benchmark across various retailer types from those 14 economies.

A non-linear approach

To better appreciate this methodology, would necessitate understanding Euromonitor International's focus of research:This research specialist today publishes 52- country databases of over a dozen industries/ markets on an annual basis. It is from Euromonitor's Retailing IMIS 2004 system that the leading retailers' information was extracted and compiled into the backbone of this groundbreaking ranking.

For each country-level report and list of retailers to be meaningful, a certain cutoff was required for them to make the Top 500 rankings. This was eventually varied from country to country, although without materially defeating the very purpose of these rankings — which was to provide all interested parties a useful benchmark of the regional landscape.

One hack even suggested that industry leader Dairy Farm in Malaysia could theoretically be smaller than unlisted retailers from Japan. Fortunately for everyone concerned that simplistic thought remains purely that — a simplistic thought of a generalist looking for a headline.

Implications and applications

In previous articles, we have explored various methods of extrapolating, from those rankings, some implications and applications for interested parties in retailing. From documenting the rise of gas/servicestation retailing and the boom of healthand- beauty specialist retailers, we have similarly studied the symbiotic relationship between the two brethren in hardline specialists — the durable goods specialists and the home-furniture and householdgoods specialists.

On a different level, we viewed the accelerating gap between independent and chain stores, and also released regionwide data analysis for the first time during the tenure of this endeavour. Following the positive response it elicited from the public, we then viewed other methods of data analysis, and some applications of these models.

When tomorrow comes

Soon, this will all be part of the archives. Minds will return to the more mundane albeit hectic daily need to compete and survive. At Euromonitor, fortunately, life is thinking strategically about everything in the retail universe and looking forward to the next day when we speak to our friends again, in the process of compiling the 2005 edition of the Retail Asia-Pacific Top 500 retailer ranking.

 


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