Retail trends in Myanmar 2020

Retail is always changing. Why? Because retail (= the selling of goods to the public) is constantly affected by supply and demand, especially demand. Shopkeepers and store owners must sell what people want to buy (demand), and this is constantly changing.

As we have discussed in class, what people want to buy is also very much influenced by companies and businesses through advertising and marketing. Big global companies try and influence shopping trends (e.g. by using social media influencers), so that people all over the world will want to consume their products (e.g. phones, food, clothes, cosmetics etc)


Read the short essay below and then MATCH the ten words in bold with their meaning.

Myanmar is a developing country that has opened up and many big global companies see there is a lot of potential to sell their products because Myanmar represents a brand new market place with lots of new consumers.

Myanmar has opened up as a market partly due to the liberalisation of the retail sector that began in May 2018 when the government permitted fully foreign-owned companies as well as joint ventures between international and domestic investors to carry out retail and wholesale businesses in Myanmar.

Since then the liberalisation of the sector has continued and foreign retailers and wholesalers of consumer goods, electronics, foodstuffs and pharmaceutical products have entered the market in Myanmar.

It is expected that within the next few years there will be more foreign supermarkets and retail malls in Myanmar as foreign investors have now had time to study and analyse the domestic trends and are more confident in making informed investments.

Modern retail malls and stores, as well as supermarkets and convenience stores are increasingly being established in the larger cities of Myanmar to cater to changing consumer trends. These currently account for approximately 10 percent of the country’s retail market and this is expected to increase to 25 percent this year.

Of the 250,000 retail outlets in Myanmar, grocery, convenience, fabric, pharmacy and fashion are the top five outlet categories, together accounting for 45 percent of total retail stores.

Local business people are optimistic and believe continued liberalisation will have a positive impact on the economy by bringing more competition, choices and affordability to local consumers.

Some critics however, argue that increased foreign investment and the shift to more modern shopping experiences (e.g. malls, convenience stores, upmarket shops) will result in the closure of many small local family businesses and ultimately cause greater suffering among the less wealthy sectors of Myanmar society.


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