Top 500 Asia Pacific retailers stand tall and proud
The 2014 Retail Asia-Pacific Top 500 Awards & Gala Dinner gathered the region’s top-performing and outstanding retailers in an evening of celebration on November 10 at the Marina Bay Sands Singapore to honour their hard work and success. Sharon Tian reports.
In 2014, the global economy is estimated to amount to US$78.3 trillion. Of this, estimated global retail sales is US$19.7 trillion, making up a quarter of the global GDP. Looking forward into the next five years, the retail sector will continue to take up at least a 25% share of the global economic pie each year, predicted Planet Retail.
Despite its significant contribution, the success of the sector and of retailers is not often given a lot of prominence. Yet, retail is such a basic and critical component of the economy.
Therefore, it was befitting that the most successful, the outstanding and the best in the industry were gathered together and honoured in style in a Hollywood-themed event at the 2014 RETAIL Asia-Pacific Top 500 Awards Presentation & Gala Dinner on November 10 at the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore.
The occasion was to give recognition to the best performers in the industry and to celebrate the achievements of the most outstanding retailers in 14 major economies across the Asia Pacific: Australia, China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The annual Retail Asia Pacific Top 500 Ranking programme identifies the top companies in each of the 14 key markets and under 10 retail formats. The companies are ranked according to the total retail sales turnover of each firm.
The landmark ranking culminates in an awards presentation and gala event, where the top three retailers in each economy are presented the Gold, Silver and Bronze trophies, while companies ranked fourth to 10th position are recognised with Awards of Distinction.
The 2014 Retail Asia-Pacific Top 500 Ranking is an extensive collaboration between RETAIL ASIA and official market information provider, Euromonitor International, together with principal programme partner KPMG, gold sponsors SSI Schaefer and Honeywell, Gala Sponsor SingTel Advertising, and event sponsor Opium.
Good performance despite challenges
This year is the 11th year of the Retail Asia-Pacific Top 500 Ranking & Awards. While the region’s retailers had to overcome many challenges in 2013 – the year under review – in a difficult retail environment, their good performance and achievements gave reason to celebrate.
The year was full of challenges and uncertainties for Asian retailers. The global economy and particularly the troubled US and EU economies were faltering. Asian economies were in turn under pressure. Growth rates tumbled.
The Asia Pacific region was also battered by a slew of devastating natural disasters which hit a number of countries. Political strife added to retailers’ challenges in other countries. All these factors had an adverse impact on consumer markets and consumer sentiments.
Against this backdrop, the region’s Top 500 retailers attained a combined sales turnover of US$1,035 billion, surpassing the US$1 trillion mark for the second time. Although the combined sales turnover in 2013 declined almost 3% compared with the previous year, the negative growth was due to the weakening exchange rate of major Asian currencies against the US dollar.
“Given the troubled market conditions and stressed consumer sentiments, the Asia Pacific Top 500 retailers had done exceptionally well,” said Steven Goh, executive chairman of Retail Asia Publishing, the organiser of the annual ranking and awards presentation event.
In his welcome address, Goh paid tribute to all of the region’s retailers. He said their performance goes to underscore the strategic, innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of the region’s top retailers in coping with the region’s ultra-dynamic consumer markets.
“We applaud them for their strong capability and capacity in forging value propositions that could keep up with the fast-changing times,” he said.
A total of 250 winners were identified in this year’s Top 500 ranking and awards programme. There are 140 winners who are the Top 10 Retail Companies in the 14 major economies. Another 100 winners are the Top 10 Retail Companies in 10 major Retail Formats. Additionally, the programme recognises the Top 10 Internet Retail Companies in Asia-Pacific, a category that was only introduced in 2013.
Internet retailing category makes debut
Last year, the Top 10 Internet Retailers in Asia Pacific chalked up a total of US$110 million sales, up 23% from the previous year. Consumers are taking to online shopping in a big way in the region, creating tremendous opportunities as well as challenges for retailers.
The Top 10 Internet Retailers was introduced as a new Top 500 award category in 2013. The list ranks retail sales generated through pure e-commerce websites and through sites operated by store-based retailers.
The Top 10 Internet Retailers in Asia-Pacific to receive the Top 500 Award of Distinction included Alibaba Group, Amazon.com, JD.com, Rakuten, eBay, Softbank Corp, Suning Appliance, Apple, Lotte Group and Dell.
Highlights of the evening
Related links to other Top 500 stories -