The Pillars of PH Retailing Who Drove the Industry's Growth in the Last Two Decades

A visual overview of the industry’s progress in recent years
IMAGE SM Investments Corporation, Kyle Shih for Entrepreneur, Town & Country Philippines

The recently concluded National Retail Conference and Stores Asia Expo 2018, the annual conference organized by the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA), aims to examine the challenges faced by brick-and-mortar stores brought about by the rising digitization of businesses.

“It is now time for retailers to step up the ante in their business. Keep up with the pace of the industry and create strategies to meet the current consumer demands, as well as achieve a perennial advantage in an increasingly demanding industry,” the PRA said in a statement.

While the conference rightly focuses on the future of the industry and how it will thrive while going through digital disruption, it is also important to look back and reflect on the retail sector’s impressive track record in the last two decades. If anything, that should serve to inspire and guide the industry’s leaders in facing the new challenges facing them in the coming years.


The infographic on this page, which tracks the real (inflation-adjusted) gross value added of retail trade compared to other major service sectors in the past two decades, shows how retailing has grown much faster compared to other service activities such as real estate and transport and communication.

From 1998 to 2017, retail trade gross value added (GVA) rose 3.2-fold, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). In contrast, the property sector increased just three times, despite the boom in residential condominiums, while transport and communications multiplied 3.2 times amid the surge in mobile phone-based services.

Indeed, from only 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 1998, retail trade surged and accounted for 13.3 percent of economic output by 2017. That compares with the decline in the relative contribution to total economic output of major sectors of the economy such as manufacturing, which fell from 24.5 percent to 23.6 percent during the period. Similarly, agriculture and forestry’s share of GDP also fell from 10.8 percent to 7.1 percent.

To be sure, the rapid growth of the retail sector is the result of the combined effort of the country’s countless retailers from sari-sari store owners to shopkeepers and managers of large department stores and supermarkets as well as convenience store chains.

Still, it’s also important to acknowledge the so-called “pillars of Philippine retail” who contributed the most to the industry’s growth in recent years.

In each of the past 12 years, from 2005 to 2016, the PRA, as the umbrella organization of the retail industry, has recognized a dozen men and women “whose hard work, perseverance and dedication in their respective businesses have contributed to the success of the country’s retail industry.”

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The infographic lists these remarkable retail industry pioneers and leaders in recognition of their role in driving the sector’s growth and development in the past two decades.

Entrepreneur Philippines is a media partner of the NRCE 2018. For more information, please visit the event website.

This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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