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Potential seen in Myanmar retail

With significant potential seen for the Myanmar retail sector, a new survey shows that most businesses there, both local and international, plan to expand in the coming year.

Meanwhile, details have yet to be finalised for a new law that aims to make it easier to invest in Myanmar.
Surveying nearly 200 senior executives at companies working in Myanmar, the Roland Berger consultancy found that 70 per cent of local businesses and 80 per cent of international ones are aiming for growth over the next 12 months.

“I don’t know any other country right now where you’d get that statistic,” says Roland Berger Southeast Asia managing partner Thomas Klotz. “No-one is really scaling back, though some are in the waiting period.”

There is “huge potential” in the retail sector, according to the Myanmar Times. One of the country’s largest modern retailers, City Mart, has announced plans to double the number of its supermarkets, treble the number of its convenience stores and enter the eCommerce sector with a click-and-collect service.

“If we look at the distribution of basic commodities, such as soap and detergent, the distribution may be 100 per cent,” says City Mart Holding MD Win Win Tint. “But for more advanced products like fabric softener and hair conditioner, distribution is limited to big cities – maybe only 20 per cent of the country. There is so much opportunity to grow.”

She says the main hurdles are finding sites to develop or convert into shops – “the cost is very high” – and finding a suitable platform for its eCommerce business that can withstand the emerging challenge of Facebook Shop.

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