Sri Lanka’s retail industry to be a prominent and important pillar of the economy

Nov 28, 2018 (LBO) – Increasingly the significance of retail as an industry, as a value creator for the economy, as an employer and as a catalyst of growth brings to the forefront the need to recognize it as an Industry, a senior official said.

Addressing the Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association second annual general meeting outgoing head of the organization, Hussain Sadiq said the objective of association is to harness the resources of the organized retail industry to a common platform to promote and facilitate the futuristic innovation, growth and global outreach.

“The SLRA has an ambitious vision to achieve retail excellence and strives to be the voice of the retail industry in Sri Lanka,” he said.

SLRA’s purpose is to provide a forum where retailers can work together to improve standards of retailing in an inclusive manner, improve consumer experience and service in all facets of retailing, and aim to facilitate the growth of the industry through innovation and sharing of global best practices.

The SLRA therefore, Sadiq says foresees an active role for itself in the architecture of development and fiscal policy as well as consumer protection mechanisms in the near term.

The organization currently represents nine retail sectors which are: FMCG; clothing, fashion and jewelry; shelter and  housing; household and consumer durables; footwear and accessories; E-commerce; mobility; entertainment, restaurants and QSR; and healthcare and wellness, and comprising of 30+ leading retailers.

At present the retail trade contributes to one third of the National GDP while accounting for 14 percent of the labour market.

Retail attracts over 250 million footfalls in Sri Lanka while the number of clicks for online-retail is estimated to be slightly under 2 percent and growing at the rate of 200 percent annually.

The newly appointed head of the SLRA, Sidath Kodikara said as an industry retail is capable of building value chains that bridge social inequalities while creating access to quality living across Sri Lanka through the standards set.

“The industry also enables Tourism spend and is a catalyst for regional growth,” he added.

“The benchmarks of quality and transparency set by the sector also allows for consumer protection and streamlining of state revenue potential.  As such it is time the industry is recognized for its value to the economy.”