5 Asian Countries with Growing Retail Development and Ad Opportunities

Last month, we explored the Latin American countries poised for retail growth this year, as reported by the AT Kearney 2014 Global Retail Development Index™ (GRDI). The report also included several top Asian nations, such as China and Malaysia, that are also expecting to see a steady increase in retail development.

Asia’s large population and countless media opportunities make it a thriving area for advertising. To make an informed decision about your global media placement opportunities in Asia, let’s take a closer look at each ranked country and their prospects for advertising.


china shopping mallChina ranked highest of the Asian nations on the GRDI, placing second on the 2014 report. The world’s most populous country and a global economic leader, China will continue to grow in the retail sector. Their growing market is impossible to ignore, with a 13 percent increase in retail spending last year.

After a boom in e-commerce in 2013 that topped $305 billion in sales, China placed first on the 2013 Global Retail E-Commerce Index. China has an even bigger online shopping holiday than the United States’ Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, called Singles’ Day, which yielded an all-time high of $5.7 billion in sales in 2013. Figures for online shopping are expected to continue climbing each year as logistics and digital security improve.

With a 20 percent increase in mall construction in 2013, traditional brick-and-mortar stores are also expanding their digital and mobile presence to help generate more sales. This has increased the presence of mobile ads by 140 percent since 2012. While supermarket sales numbers remain flat, other areas in China are expanding, such as convenience stores with a 10 percent increase in store sales. A digital and mobile presence is also favorable to help advertise declining luxury goods and department stores.


Breaking into the top ten of the GRDI this year is Malaysia at number nine, four positions higher than last year. The population of Malaysia is significantly smaller compared to China’s, at only 30 million people. However, Malaysians are young, (nearly half the population is under 25 years old) with a high disposable income, making the country a popular area for sales of electronics, sporting goods and fashion.

International brands such as Hamleys, Cath Kidston and Circle K, entered the country in 2013 by taking advantage of government regulations that favor international retail developers for economic growth. Popular international department stores, Galeries Lafayette and Takashimaya, will open this year as well. Like China, Malaysia’s online retail sector is growing stronger, valued at $1 billion in 2012, and by 2017 is predicted to exceed to $3 billion.


Indonesia’s sales growth was flat in 2014, but in the long view it’s becoming a region for growth. Grocery sales are projected to rise to three times the amount of sales at minimarts and convenience stores over the next five years. Plus, 75 percent of Internet users shop online, proving to become a hotbed for e-commerce in the future. International retailers continue to find the Indonesian market appealing, with department stores Lotte and Galeries Lafayette opening last year and Starbucks, Apple, IKEA and more big brands planning to open in 2014.


michael korsAlthough India decreased to its lowest position ever on the GRDI in 2014, the country is not to be discounted. Regardless of the lag in growth, the benefits of the region are still plenty, starting with its young, urban population with rising disposable incomes. The country will remain a major development region in the long term as operations improve and industry grows. International, single-brand stores that opened in 2013 included fashion labels Stuart Weitzman and Michael Kors and sportswear brand, Columbia. Many big, international stores like H&M and IKEA are expected in 2014. E-commerce is expected to expand as Internet accessibility improves by 50 percent over the next five years.


The Philippines is 23rd on the GRDI for 2014 and its international brand growth is already strong. In 2013, American Eagle, Claire’s, FamilyMart and Hong Kong supermarket, Wellcome, all entered the market. In 2014, they will be joined by H&M, Gap, BH Fashion Company and PVH. The population’s wealth is rising and with it, so is consumer’s confidence. Another notable development in the country is the increased area of retail growth within cities beyond the capital of Manila.


Advertising in Asia

india newsstand

Effective ad placement in Asia’s retail sector can be accomplished through print and digital newspaper advertising in exclusive publications that target the dense urban population of cities like Shanghai and Jakarta, or by reaching the masses through a national publication.

Due to the popularity of malls in much of this part of the world, out of home ad placement is a growing opportunity for advertisers as well. From static billboards to digital fixtures, out of home retail advertising will continue to influence millions of consumers a year.

Multimedia specializes in exclusive, international media placement, understands Asian markets and has extensive experience in the retail sector. Our well-established relationships with publications in these regions and around the globe provide our clients with exclusive and targeted placement opportunities.

Contact us to learn about the advertising opportunities we can help you achieve in Asia today.


Image Sources:

See-ming Lee via photopin cc

Mike Mozart via photopin cc

Yohann Legrand via photopin cc