Hypermarkets, department stores, shopping centres and convenience stores in Thailand are all aggressively moving further into online services.
Their goal is to spur shopping from young consumers who have high spending power.
This month, Future Park Rangsit, Tesco Lotus, Central Group and Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group simultaneously launched online business strategies to boost their sales and attract the young generation to become their new customers. Moreover, their operation costs may fall and sales increase despite having no more retail space.
Chinese tourists are rapidly deserting Hong Kong, leaving retailers who built businesses around once insatiable demand from mainland neighbours with bigger but emptier stores and squeezing the whole city's visitor-dependent economy.
With cross-border tensions exacerbated by pro-democracy Hong Kong protests, tour groups visiting Hong Kong from China plunged about 80 percent in early March. A Beijing crackdown on conspicuous spending by mainlanders also shows no signs of letting up, sending tourists further afield.
Premium luggage maker Samsonite posted strong double-digit sales growth in all regions in 2014, led by Asia and North America.
The company said on Tuesday that net sales for the year ended on 31 December 2014 grew 17.3 percent to a record USD2.35 billion from the prior year. Adjusted net income jumped 9 percent to USD206.3 million. Excluding currency swings, adjusted net income advanced 12.3 percent. Adjusted EBITDA climbed 13.8 percent to USD384.3 million. It has been the fifth year the luggage maker posted double-digit growth in both net sales and Adjusted EBITDA.
Australian retail giant Myer could close seven stores to help reignite sales growth, analysts say.
The department store chain has a number of underperforming stores that could be closed to simplify the business and improve its financial performance, Citigroup analysts said.
Myer has 67 stores across Australia, mostly in capital cities, but also in regional centres including Bendigo, Ballarat, Dubbo, Orange, Wagga and Mackay. Sales could also be boosted by lifting staff numbers and spending more on marketing, the Citi analysts said.
Global luxury brands expanding in China are better off targeting the HENRYs – "high earners, not rich yet" – instead of the ultra-wealthy, as a slowing economy and a government that frowns on official excesses usher in an era of less showy spending.
Investments by airlines and airports in automated technology that helps passengers check-in, drop their bags and pass through security and immigration queues more quickly should pay off for airports in the form of higher retail spending, according to aviation technology group SITA.
SITA president of Asia-Pacific Ilya Gutlin said relaxed passengers were more open to shopping than those that had been stressed out before reaching the airport terminal.
Thailand's retail company CP All Plc has earmarked THB14 billion (USD432.6 million) to expand its convenience and cash-and-carry store operations this year on the back of economic recovery and high consumer spending power.
Of the total budget, THB9 billion will go to its own 7-Eleven convenience store expansion and the remaining THB5 billion to its subsidiary Siam Makro Plc, which operates Makro cash-and-carry stores.
CP All plans to open 600 new convenience stores and improve its existing outlets, while Siam Makro will open 10 new Makro branches.
Major department stores in Japan are beefing up their service for Chinese customers ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday season starting today, bidding for big-spending tourists to offset the slump in domestic spending.
The Year of the Sheep begins on Thursday, and Chinese visitors are on the rise thanks to a weaker yen and an expansion in the range of items that can be purchased duty-free. Some department stores have been giving sales staff Mandarin lessons or supplying them with tablet computers to aid communication.
David Jones has brushed off suggestions it will head downmarket under its new owners, and says it aims to build more boutique stores amid continued economic uncertainty.
Chief executive Iain Nairn, who was appointed in August after the AUD2.1 billion takeover of David Jones by South African retailer Woolworths Holdings, said its tracking of about AUD30 billion in retail spending showed "significant" growth in year-on-year spending.
David Jones's new South African owners plan to double spending on stores, visual merchandising and systems – outlaying between AUD300 million (USD232.4m) and AUD400 million over the next five years – in an attempt to reverse years of underinvestment and transform the 177-year-old retailer into the best department store in the southern hemisphere.
"Historically David Jones was the iconic brand in the southern hemisphere but it kind of lost its way over the last few years," new chief executive Iain Nairn said.