THE RETAIL industry was severely impacted during the global outbreak of COVID-19 and is currently facing significant market, financial, people and operational challenges. The pandemic has affected parts of the industry in different ways. The grocery sector struggled with supply chain issues, consumer goods and apparel businesses have been challenged by store closures and rapid growth of online sales.

In light of helping companies in the retail industry, Grant Thornton International Ltd. has produced a publication named 'Retail: Navigating the Impact of COVID-19' for retail businesses.

"As non-essential trading was halted in many parts of the world, many businesses have experienced a significant drop in revenue with store closures. As a result of this, many retail staff were made redundant or worked reduced hours during the pandemic." said Marivic Espano, chairperson and CEO of P&A Grant Thornton.

"It is important for retail businesses to focus on liquidity, cost management, debt and restructuring to assess, protect and restore value for their business and this publication will provide some guidance on the steps required to position themselves for the 'new normal' that is emerging after the lockdown restrictions are eased." she continued.

Retailers need to ensure their businesses are resilient going forward. Lenders and stakeholders need to know there is a working strategy for transitioning from the present disruption to operating in the new normal.

With the focus of helping retail businesses, Grant Thornton ASEAN launches the ASEAN Focus Retail Industry Services. This is to meet rising demand form retail businesses looking to relocate operations to the region in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and fluctuating US-China trade tensions. The service will focus on medium to large enterprises looking to expand, relocate or diversify their businesses in the region.

While the ASEAN region is often the prime choice for businesses and investors, any relocation or expansion in a new country or region can be challenging. Many factors need to be considered, including risk management, cost management, investment returns, cultural differences and more.

The growing demand for help in these areas is the driving force behind the Grant Thornton member firms form Big 7 ASEAN countries - Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia - coming together as Grant Thornton ASEAN. "We offer seamless cross-border services to all the medium to large enterprises looking for opportunities to expand their retail business across ASEAN region" said Ms. Espano.

With a team of local experts from different countries, Grant Thornton ASEAN can provide medium to large enterprises valuable business insights and strategic perspectives, evaluate business challenges and support their needs in local or regional growth, risk management or cost management.


As published in Mindanao Times, dated 28 August 2020