Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Software firm sees RP as major market, cites strong retail sector

Emilia Narni J. David

A RETAIL software company is eyeing the Philippines as a major market, citing the concentration of retail businesses such as shopping malls in the country.

JDA Software Philippines, the local subsidiary of the JDA Software Group, said the country’s retail sector could expand further with the increasing competitiveness of regional businesses.

"There is a large concentration of top retailers in the Philippines. Which means that retail has a very big impact on the economy," JDA Asia-Pacific president Stephen McNulty said in a press briefing yesterday.

He added that more than half of the top 10 performing retailers in Asia are found in the Philippines.

JDA Software Philippines serves many of the country’s top retail companies like the SM group, Stores Specialists, Inc., Robinsons Supermarket and Department Store, National Book Store, and 7-11.

The company provides retail software to retailers, manufacturers and logistics companies, as well as "business intelligence" materials.

Cherokee D. Chamorro, JDA Software Philippines country manager, said: "The big players are entering markets where previously only one retailer was [present]. We have clients in the regions that have realized that they need to compete with these companies that are using our software and seeing the benefits of having at least the basic tools to be able to become more competitive."

He cited the example of Bohol Quality Mall in Bohol, one of the company’s clients. Growth in provinces, however, depends "on the maturity of customers."

Mr. Chamorro said companies are seeing the benefit of investing in new technologies and systems even during the financial downturn. "[The companies] told us that they want to take advantage of the lull because of the crisis. They are focusing on getting together their systems so that they can be ready and stabilize their systems after the slowdown," he said.

Philippine retail companies make around $5 billion to $10 billion in revenues per year, he said.

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