Despite the gloom in the West and a slowing expansion of China's economy, free-spending Chinese consumers and wealthy Hong Kong locals craving exclusivity have proven a blessing to retailers looking to buck global woes.
From gadgets decked out in jewels to made-to-order men's shoes and ladies leather handbags or Rolls Royce cars with monogrammed seats, Hong Kong continues to benefit from the influx of newly rich mainland Chinese searching for authentic goods and lower sales taxes.
Sumber Alfaria Trijaya, the owner of Alfamart mini markets in Indonesia, continues to increase its ownership in Midi Utama Indonesia, which operates minimarkets such as Alfamidi, Alfa Express and Lawson, as it expects to boost investment return from its retailer unit.
Alfamidi, Alfa Express as well as Lawson have seen increasing sales in recent years, thanks to stronger consumer spending as well as a wider outlet of networks in the country.
High-end retail chains are increasingly looking at existing and new hotels to house their brands in India, according to experts tracking the sector. While some brands have traditionally been located in five-star hotels, retail chains were seen opting for malls in the last few years. However, absence of quality real estate is once again pushing retailers, especially the luxury and niche brands, into the cool comfort of hotels.
The run-up to Chinese New Year, which starts on 10 February and will mark the Year of the Snake is a key shopping period. And this year more than ever, the spending patterns of China's 1.3 billion people are expected to be scrutinised as a measure of how the economy is fairing – not only as it recovers from last year's slowdown, but also as it switches from a reliance on exports to consumption.
Sun Art Retail Group Ltd overtook rivals such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc to become the number one hypermarket operator in China by supporting the local economy and counting on consumer loyalty to Chinese brands, said a major shareholder.
By contrast, foreign competitors in China lack the same political savvy, the cachet that comes with being seen as a Chinese firm as well as knowledge of the local market, Samuel Yin, chairman of Taiwan's Ruentex Group, one of Sun Art's two main owners, told Reuters in his first interview with overseas media on Monday.
Siam Piwat Co will allocate THB600 million (USD19.7 million) for marketing this year, six times last year's budget. Part of the money will be used to reopen its Siam Center in a grand manner, with Thai guests rubbing shoulders with Hollywood stars and pop divas.
Mayuree Chaipromprasith, the executive vice-president for business promotion, said THB100 million (USD3.2 million) will be spent on the grand opening of the new Siam Center on Wednesday and Friday this week and the rest used for other activities throughout the year.
As 2012 comes to an end, pundits and analysts alike are making predictions for 2013. Many things could happen in 2013, but one thing is almost certain: China will be the largest e-commerce market in the world. Already, the country has the largest population of online shoppers. In June 2012, people who shopped online in China reached 210 million, compared 179 million in the US.
Australia is being invaded by a swathe of foreign retailers, piling pressure on a local industry already battered by weak consumer spending and ruthless internet competition.
Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd, the world's biggest jewellery retailer by market value, said on Thursday it is targeting e-commerce as a pillar of future growth after online sales tripled in the first half.
The Hong Kong-listed company, despite posting a disappointing slump in six-month profit, was also upbeat about a near-term pick-up in China's luxury spending and the prospect of strong longer-term demand due to increasing wealth and spending power in smaller cities.
After nearly 14 years of working to persuade China to buy into its foreign coffee culture, Starbucks Corp. is aiming to become more Chinese as it plans a rapid expansion in the country.
Belinda Wong, president of Starbucks China, said in an interview that Starbucks aims to roll out 800 new stores in the next three years to add to its existing fleet of 700. Over that period it will increase the number of employees to more than 30,000 from the current 12,000.