Mr. James Loke, President of Malaysia Retailers Association (MRA) is leading a 53-members delegation to attend the 19th Asia-Pacific Retailers Convention and Exhibition (APRCE), which is held from 5th to 7th September 2019, at Chongqing Yuelai International Convention Center, Chongqing, China. The theme of this year APRCE is ‘New Retail, New Consumption, New Dynamics – Cooperation and Sharing’.

MRA’s delegation includes Honorary President Tan Sri William Cheng, Deputy Presidents Mr. Law Boon Eng and Mr. Shinobu Washizawa, Honorary Secretary Ms. Cynthia Hwang, Council Member and Youth Wing Chairman Mr. Wong Joon Quin, Council Members Mr. Steven Ng and Mr. Lai Sia Ling and many major retail companies.

Tan Sri William Cheng, Chairman of the Federation of Asia-Pacific Retailers Associations (FAPRA), thanked the delegates and participants from various countries for their continuous participation and support to make APRCE a greater success from year to year. The APRCE has become Asia’s biggest and longest running retail convention and exhibition. This biennial event organized by the member associations is an important networking and knowledge sharing platform for all the retailers in the region.

He was also grateful that the FAPRA as the umbrella organisation of 19 retail associations in the Asia-Pacific region, i.e. Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam, has over the years assisted its members to foster closer ties, promote collaboration and exchange knowledge. MRA is honoured to be the only representation from Malaysia and is one of the founding members of the FAPRA. He invited more retail associations to join the FAPRA family to promote the growth and advancement of retail in the Asia-Pacific region.
Ms. Cynthia Hwang, Honorary Secretary of MRA was invited to speak at the conference on “Changes in Purchasing and Brand Strategies for the Retail Segment”. She shared the transformation experience of Suiwah which has gone beyond a traditional neighborhood general store to a public listed corporation which now expanded their business in overseas markets. She also shared the establishment of online store focusing on B2C to cater for the Gen-Y, Gen-Z or Millenials which represent more than 35% of the Malaysian population – with high disposable income and willing to pay a premium for green products and services. Riding on the waves of development of E-Commerce and M-Commerce, the corporate has also strengthened their systems to improve logistics, ordering and distribution management.
During the conference, Mr. Steven Ng, Council Member and Chairman of Southern Region presented the country report on Malaysia retail market. Even though the overall growth rate did not meet the market expectation in 2018, the Malaysia retail industry had recorded an encouraging growth of 3.9%, or a turnover of RM 103.7 billion, compared with previous year. Retail industry continued its emerging contribution to the nation’s economy and recorded an employment of 1.2 million staff with more than 240,000 retail outlets. For year 2019, MRA forecasts a 4.9% growth rate or RM 108.8 billion in total sale turnover.

Fitness Concept Specialist Chain Sdn Bhd was awarded the FAPRA Country/Region Awards 2019 for “Customer Service Excellence”, following their success in winning the “Retailer of the Year” awarded by Malaysia Retailers Association (MRA) under its flagship programme “MRA’s Race to the Top – Mystery Shopper Program 2018/2019”.
The 19th APRCE is expected to be visited by more than 4,000 delegates and participants from more than 10 countries/regions, whilst the next APRCE will be held in Indonesia in year 2021.