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Changing dynamics of Malaysian retail trends

AvantiKumar | April 23, 2012
Motorola Solutions: technology, especially mobility, is transforming the retail environment.

Motorola Solutions-Tab for retail

PHOTO - Motorola Solutions-Tab for retail.

A new study of retail trends by communications solutions provider Motorola Solutions shows that mobility and other technology innovations are changing the retail environment in Malaysia and the Asia Pacific region, said the company.

Motorola Solutions Asia Pacific retail director, Anand Mehta, said: "The three key trends changing retail operations are rise of the mobile worker, perpetual inventory and a smarter consumer."

"Technology innovation, in particular, is transforming the retail environment and mobility is leading the charge," said Mehta. "Consumer experiences with smartphones, tablets and digital applications are helping to reset shopper behaviour and expectations. In a mobile world, information and applications are readily available and everything can be done on the fly. With the increase in the network bandwidth and the uptake of smartphones, customers are making use of social media on the go to make smarter purchase decisions. This makes the shopper's buying experience very critical to business success and customer retention."

"Some of the key retail trends that Motorola Solutions foresees for the Malaysian market and considers as potentials for the Motorola Solutions Retail Business unit, are that the retail landscape in Malaysia has changed over the past decade," he said. "A Business Monitor International report forecasted that total retail sales will grow from RM200.84 billion (US$57.02 billion) in 2012 to RM248.33 billion (US$70.5 billion) in 2016."

"Much interest has been given to the retail industry," said Mehta. "In line with the Malaysian Government's Economic Transformation Plan, retail has been acknowledged as one of the key sectors to drive the economic growth of the country and a number of projects and initiatives have been identified to drive the retail sector such as increasing the number of large format stores and modernising via the Small Retailer Transformation Programme (TUKAR). The retail sector is poised for positive growth."

One of the trends observed in Malaysia is the growth in both international and local brands of retail stores of different formats in the country," he said. "One also witnesses supermarket and hypermarket format stores emerging and growing and the need for technology in retailers today is evident. There is much potential for the retail sector in Malaysia to modernise and innovate. Given that retail is a challenging environment; customer retention and frontline service is key to business success."

The future of retail business during the next decade

"During the next 10 years, there will be further growth in large format stores offering consumers low prices, a wide assortment and a spacious shopping environment, particularly in the developing markets," said Mehta. "Convenience stores typified will continue to grow strongly in all countries, with a big driver of this likely to include an ever-expanding offer in food services as well as many other services aimed at making everyday life even more convenient."

"In addition, retailer concentration will increase very much at the same rate that we saw over the last few years, shifting by one to two percent annually," he said. "The occasional bigger changes will be driven by mergers and acquisitions as retailers strive to drive profitability through size."

"In Malaysia, for instance, we have worked with a number of top retailers including Mydin and Tesco to successfully deliver our enterprise mobility solutions to streamline everyday operations, point of sales solutions and improve the overall customer experience," said Mehta. "We will continue to leverage current trends to create next generation solutions for our customers delivered through our strong channel partner network."

"Malaysia is a key market for us in the Asia Pacific region, and is among the tier-1 markets," he said. "We have been in Malaysia for more than 35 years and have made strategic investments here. Our company policy does not permit us to share forward business projections but what we would like to add is that retail is among the key enterprise verticals that we are focused on in Malaysia."

"Motorola Solutions has a complete suite of retail mobility solutions and is uniquely positioned to deliver innovative mobility solutions to retailers that will help retailers to enhance the overall customer experience, optimise inventory and supply chain, maximise business efficiency and improve productivity," he said.

Mehta said Motorola Solutions products and solutions are designed to improve business delivery for enterprises across a host of verticals, including healthcare, supply chain, manufacturing, logistics, retail and hospitality. Other objectives include:

- Enable business agility
- Improve worker productivity
- Increase sales
-- Enhance customer experience


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