What Does Myanmar’s Retail Have to Offer?

Myanmar’s Retail Have to Offer

Since the Myanmar government took a major measure in the form of opening the retail sector to foreign investors, the sales of modern retail grew at a CAGR level of 33% from 2013 to 2019.

This figure looks interesting in the eyes of international retail companies and investors looking to enter this market.

YCP Solidiance’s latest white paper, “The Transformation of Myanmar’s Retail Industry” highlights that Myanmar’s retail sector is forecasted to maintain strong and steady growth, with lots of opportunities for foreign investments.

Key Aspects of Myanmar’s Retail Sector

What Does Myanmar’s Retail Have to Offer?

There are at least three main opportunities in the retail market, with their own unique challenges.

1. Shifting Customer’s Lifestyle

Myanmar consumers have unique characteristics. About a decade ago, they spent most of their earnings only on basic items. In addition, they mainly bought those items from traditional retailers, such as wet markets, kiosks, and small grocers.

However, the economic liberalisation allows foreign and modern retailers to establish their business in Myanmar retail sector. They are not only offering basic items but also non-essential items, such as electronics, beauty products, personal care products, and international F&B.

On the other hand, foreign investment opens new job opportunities for the Myanmar population. As a result, they have more income so that they are capable to shop for leisure, entertainment, and foreign brands. Therefore, it resulted in fundamental shifts in consumers’ lifestyles and open new opportunities for foreign investors and international retailers to enter this sector.

2. Tackling Market Potential in Mandalay

There is a promising market potential in one of the Myanmar major cities, Mandalay, which allows foreign retailers and investors to gain profit from this city’s untapped modern market. People of Mandalay have similar characteristics and purchasing habits to the customers’ characteristics in Yangon and other urban areas.

However, performing business expansion to Mandalay is not always easy due to its location that is in the middle of the country. As a result, retailers need to spend more money on transportation. On the other hand, some of the areas in this region are difficult to access so that retailers need to find the best strategy to get to the areas quickly and safely.

3. The E-commerce Evolution

The e-commerce landscape in Myanmar is not as developed as other e-commerce landscape in other Southeast Asian countries, such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines. However, with the fast-growing internet users in Myanmar and their openness to new brands, the e-commerce segment promises excellent growth if supported properly by the government.

Unfortunately, the illegal import of foreign brands can cause e-commerce investors to lose profit. Therefore, businesses need to work closely with the government to minimize this illegal practice.

Source image: Transformation Myanmar Retail Industry

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