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Asia-Pacific: A remarkable retailing opportunity

Sunday 1 May, 2011

Asia-Pacific: A remarkable retailing opportunity

With difficult trading conditions in the UK, it comes as no surprise that many retailers are looking to expand internationally. Large emerging markets such as India and China have been identified as major opportunities for goods and services, and China also plays a key role in the extended global supply chain, linking manufacturers directly to retail outlets. But it's not easy, and you need to find a partner that understands both your business and the local market. That's why big names such as Tommy Hilfiger are working with BT...

The increasing purchasing power of China's consumers, coupled with the strength of its eye-watering double digit growth economy, mean that the country with the world's largest population is a very attractive proposition. With a high potential for retail growth, it's not surprising that many retailers see this as a major opportunity for penetration, either directly or using a franchise model. This trend isn't just restricted to the well-known UK high street brands, but extends to a number of smaller fashion retailers, with an increasing focus on luxury goods, thanks to the aspirations of the thriving middle classes of India and China.

However, expanding into new international markets isn't just about opening new stores. A multichannel strategy is increasingly important to both retailers with an existing international presence and those that are initiating global expansion programmes. E-commerce offers the potential for true multichannel retailing, with transactional sites increasing revenues.

Any retailer looking to enter the Asian market, or to maximise their existing operations, will undoubtedly be relying on a complex array of technology, from networked devices to retail IT applications. It's vital that each element works reliably, interacts with other elements, and can function quickly and without downtime.

Leading premium lifestyle brand Tommy Hilfiger, one of the largest international designer apparel brands in the world, has signed a five year managed services contract with BT. Under the terms of the agreement, BT will provide a videoconferencing solution which includes the industry's first 'virtual fitting rooms', which the company jointly developed with TANDBERG, now part of the newly formed Cisco TelePresence Technology Group. These rooms enable immediate global in-person communication and collaboration among Tommy Hilfiger's designers and manufacturing facilities. The solution connects offices in Amsterdam, New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo, with potentially more units to follow. You can find out more here...

Asia is a large and diverse region, spanning many regulatory jurisdictions. To succeed, retailers need a partner that understands the landscape and the technology infrastructure of the region. With people on the ground in China's 20 largest cities and across the whole region, BT can help retailers establish the business network they need to support their retail operations in Asia-Pacific. BT Expedite and Fresca can also provide an e-commerce platform to support expansion ambitions.

To see for yourself how we can help retailers take advantage of the opportunities in Asia-Pacific, why not take the opportunity to visit a BT Showcase, either in the UK or Asia, where our experts can show you first hand. Please contact Lucy Abbey on [email protected] to book a visit.

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