In Markets

Surviving a retail downturn – consumer markets

China has had a bumper year for retail sales, but the signs of a global economic slowdown are starting to be felt across the retail sector.

For retail executives a consumer downturn is always frightening experience. In China, a decade and a half of strong economic growth and positive consumer sentiment has seen enterprises achived continuing growth in sales and in many cases dramatic change in the scale of their business.

Many may be ill-prepared to deal with more difficult trading conditions. Indeed, sales growth has often masked poor profitability or even deeper financial, structural and management weaknesses. In a recent global survey by KPMG, only 14 percent of executives said their cash forecasts were accurate, while 81 percent said they had seen flat or deteriorating working capital over the last three years.

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