Retail in Asia

In Trends

Retail Asia Conference – Holiday Season Update


Retail in Asia joined the Retail Asia Conference – Holiday Season Update organized by Diversified Communications (Retail Asia Expo) in partnership with KPMG.

The conference welcomed  over 300 senior executives with a number of keynote speakers and panelists discussing the latest trends across the retail industry. It was a great opportunity to hear about new ideas on technology and innovation as well as discuss future strategies, build new networks and gain new insights.

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During the event, KPMG latest global report, entitled Me, My Life, My Wallet  was presented, together with the latest KPMG CEO Outlook that reports that Customer remains at the top of the agenda, and how businesses have a small window of opportunity to quickly gain market share in this billion dollar market space. This report, whilst being a global study, also gives some detailed insights specifically on the Chinese consumer.

Additionally, also the GS1 & KPMG report on the outlook for ecommerce in Hong Kong was released. This year’s report was launched in the build up to a record breaking Singles Day of USD25.3bn in transactions and it touches on many of the hot trends we saw reflected on 11/11, such as the growing impact of social media on consumer opinions and the rise of the millennial consumers.

Belle Morton presented the main findings from the report Me, My Life, My Wallet :

  • there are more people living longer and becoming wealthier
  • people spend more and differently
  • technology is changing consumer behaviour

Overall, she highlighted the main trends in the market in terms of consumer behaviour: millennials account for 2.5bn of the world population; 1bn is currently aged over 60 years old; China will host 1bn of the middle class by 2030; 78% of millennials spend their money on experience; and 90% of consumers say that their purchase decision is influenced by online reviews.

Therefore, brands are called to shift towards a more people-oriented paradigm, which connects employees and customers for a deeper understanding of how to meet customers’ demands.

Source : KPMG

Additionally, the report points out commonalities across generations : baby boomers, GEN X,  GEN Y, GEN Z. All of them present a changing consumer behaviour very much attached to life events, and influenced by their digital interactions. The smartphone has become a indispensable necessity and an extension of their life, which functions as centre of their actions. Those consumers like the idea of being able to satisfy their needs through a click and it seems they expect brands and serviced providers to adjust to that.

The conference continued with a focus on travel retail bringing in data from the Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association. The data presented by Mindset were collected from IATA and ARC (Airlines Reporting Corporation). Both institutions provided data regarding global airline ticket sales from over 400 airlines,  across 170 countries, and 80,000 travel agents.

The report focused on China, India, Japan, and Korea. Interestingly, Asian travellers travel in APAC more than anywhere else. Chinese travellers spend most of their holidays in APAC, they travel to different cities in China with a peak in destinations for Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong. Indian travellers score high in domestic travel, Singapore and Dubai. Same for Japanese, scoring high in travelling to cities in Japan, and choosing Korea and Taiwan as preferred outside Japan. Koreans, after their local airports, are frequent flyers to Thailand instead.

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Other data collected show that while at the airport, travellers are interested in duty free but still looking for a unique shopping experience, however, price plays a huge role in purchase decision.

Most of the times, travellers are not searching for specific items but like engaging with retail staff to discover and explore new products. Unique products specifically create for duty free are best sellers, as well as travel retail packaging not available elsewhere.

In conclusion, travel retail is about price and transparency, but at the same time it is about being able to build a rhetoric of newness to engage travellers.


If you have any questions regarding this topic contact our InTelligence Team.