AS the entry of foreign brands continues to eat up the market share of local retailers, the Philippine Retailers’ Association-Cebu (PRA) is seeking the support of local officials to prioritize homegrown brands and help keep the local retail scene vibrant.
PRA Cebu President Robert Go said prioritizing local tenants in malls is already a big help for homegrown brands to stay competitive amid the continued influx of international brands.
Following the induction of officers yesterday, Go said that PRA Cebu will draft a letter asking the local government units (LGU) and local officials to create an ordinance persuading malls to give “special, non-discriminatory locations” and special rates for homegrown businesses.
At present, mall operators reportedly give the best or premium locations to big foreign brands, which limits homegrown brands’ access to foot traffic and potential customers.
“What we would like to happen is that they (mall operators) also prioritize local retailers in terms of location and rate so we can continue to spur local entrepreneurship,” said Go.
“All we want is a level playing field so we can also thrive.”
Go cited that in the towns outside the urban centers, homegrown businesses get enough attention and support from the LGUs and some establishments. His Prince Hypermart branches, for instance, support local retailers and tenants.
“If this kind of set-up works in smaller towns with the support of the LGU, I am confident we can replicate the model here,” he said.
PRA-Cebu members were encouraged to upgrade the quality of their products and services as well as marketing initiatives and operate more efficiently.
To level up, Go also emphasized that local retailers should use online platforms, especially since the country’s biggest consumer market is the younger generation.
“The new generation of shoppers would prefer online shopping over brick-and-mortar stores. If we want to emerge as winners in the end, we need to take advantage of the various market channels our customers prefer,” he said.