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Indonesia shines for retail investment

Southeast Asia’s largest economy, Indonesia, is ranked the world’s fifth most-attractive market for retail investment in AT Kearney’s 2016 Global Retail Development Index.

In previous years it has ranked in the top 20.

It is an exciting time to be investing in Indonesia’s retail sector, the index says. The country scores 64.3 in market size (out of a 0-100 scale) and low in country risk (38.9) – lower than the top three markets, China, India and Malaysia. Urgency to enter the market is rated at 68.9, and the overall score of 55.6 is just one point behind Kazakhstan.

“Despite its relatively low retail sales per capita and currency volatility, Indonesia’s huge population and cities make it quite attractive to foreign retailers, which see untapped potential in the country and are investing heavily in new development,” says the report, which covers 30 developing countries that represent more than half of total global retail sales.

This is reflected by burgeoning foreign retail investments in the country, reports the Jakarta Post. It cites Dubai-based Lulu, which opened its first hypermarket in Indonesia this month with an investment plan of US$500 million covering nine hypermarkets and a warehouse. Meanwhile, Singapore’s Courts, South Korea’s Lotte, and Ikea and H&M from Sweden all have a presence and expansion plans in Indonesia. Courts plans to open four stores by next March to add to its existing five, and has seen its sales growth double since opening in 2014.

Indonesian convenience stores Alfamart and Indomaret have also been expanding. Indomaret plans to add 1600 outlets this year to its 12,210 stores, while Alfamart is aiming for six-fold sales growth this year driven by its upgraded online presence.

The government has opened up eCommerce to foreign ownership where the business value is more than Rp100 billion (US$7.49 million). According to the Indonesian eCommerce Association (Idea), eCommerce transactions are expected to reach $24.6 billion this year, three times more than in 2013.

Indonesian retailers Matahari and Mitra Adi Perkasa have launched online shopping, while grocers Alfamart and Happy Fresh are extending their online offering.

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