The rising stars of the catwalk

October 1, 2012 / By

Asia Pacific’s retail sector makes for fascinating research. The sector is seeing a major transformation which reflects not only the rapid rates of economic growth in many markets but also the impact of common driving forces such as technological advances.

Our region has the full range of retail offerings from sophisticated malls through to mom and pop stalls. Physically advanced markets like Australia and Hong Kong are regional leaders in terms of the quality of retail stock as well as property management standards. In other markets, the physical retail landscape is changing dramatically alongside rapid increases in urbanisation and rising wealth levels. Take China – between 2011 and 2015, the middle class is expected to grow by almost 100 million people and we forecast that a whopping 400 new shopping malls will be completed across the 20 major cities in the country! In both China and other emerging markets, the continued evolution of the retail sector is bound to see improving quality of new retail developments, in turn driving further opportunities for both retailers and investors.

Already, increasing wealth levels are seeing international retailers set up shop (or many shops!) in rapidly growing markets. Shoppers are also hopping on planes to fly to markets that offer sought after goods at attractive prices. Hong Kong has to be the one of the best examples of this – in 2011, 28 million Mainland Chinese tourists visited the city and each person staying overnight spent an average of US$750 in shops, much of this spend on luxury items.

Asia Pacific’s retail sector is undergoing huge change not only in terms of bricks and mortar, but also due to the rapid growth of online retailing. This phenomenon is making an impact across all markets, both mature and emerging. In Australia, the government statistics bureau recently announced that it would start tracking the country’s online retail sales which have accelerated in recent years. Over in China, and while the physical retail sector is still developing there, its people have embraced internet shopping to the extent that China now tops the global ladder in terms of the number of online shoppers.

To read more about the latest trends in the region’s retail sector, please take a look at our new retail publication Retail Cities in Asia Pacific: The rising stars of the catwalk.

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