Sales of bazaars down 40% this year, but malls survive crisis

Published by rudy Date posted on November 11, 2009

Filipinos continue to shop at large department stores even at the height of the global economic crisis this year, but spent less on cheaper items that can be bought from bazaars, tiangge and other informal retail outlets.

A survey by the World Bank showed that most large retailers weathered the crisis well, while informal retail outlets were experiencing sharply reduced sales in most countries.

The bank reported “the informal local garments, bags, footwear and electronics trade industry [in the Philippines] is posting sharply reduced sales, especially at the lower price range and non-necessities.”

“Sales have been dropping since the beginning of the year for this segment,” it added.

A survey conducted by a team led by economist Eric le Borgne from the World Bank office in the Philippines during the period Aug. 15 to Sept. 15 showed that “sales of informal garments, bags, shoes and electronics are down 35 to 40 percent in January-August from a year earlier.”

“About 25 percent of survey respondents reported that they feel the crisis has not bottomed out yet,” the bank said. “Individuals in the minimum wage segment who have experienced the brunt of the crisis are now cautious to spend.”

While informal retail outlets were severely affected, the bank noted that the economic slowdown was not materially affecting large retail conglomerates and small informal [sari-sari] family stores.

“On the manufacturing side, companies with established brands, wide distribution and sufficient financial capability to cut prices and absorb the negative impact on profits are faring much better than smaller and financially weaker players during the crisis,” it said. –Roderick T. dela Cruz, Manila Standard Today

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