In-Brief

Retailers to present ‘Future of Retail’ on Sept. 27

Doug Stephens

The Puerto Rico Retail Association, known as ACDET in Spanish, will host an event Sept. 27 focusing on “The Future of Retail,” Lymaris Otero, executive director of the trade group announced.

Challenges such as how the current economic crisis and migration have accelerated major demographic changes, overregulation, closings and the scaling back of some chain stores, more competition from various businesses, and how all of that combined with the fast growth of internet sales, presents new consumption patterns that businesses have to face and overcome to stay in the game.

The ACDET expects to gather all of the major components of the retail business, including representatives of major local and international chain stores, shopping centers, distributors and others, Otero said.

The event will take at the Sheraton Hotel in San Juan, and will include a series of educational seminars, professional lectures and panel analysis, in which local and multinational employers will present their success stories and lessons learned to help retailers become more competitive, among other topics.

“The retail trade sector, one of the biggest contributors to the island’s economy after manufacturing, is going through a historic moment of changes that have disrupted the way this industry is conducted,” Otero said.

“In addition to competition and high operating costs, we are facing a new kind of consumer who is more oriented toward the shopping experience, is analytical, knowledgeable and has access to purchase with a ‘click’ from their smartphone or mobile device. How does the sector stay current on these scenarios?,” Otero said.

The event’s keynote speaker will be Doug Stephens, known as “The Retail Prophet,” who will present, among other things, the global retail scene, trends in consumption patterns and strategies retailers can use to can upgrade, innovate, remain current and be able to attract customers.

Retail activity accounts for nearly 5 percent of Puerto Rico’s gross domestic product and is the third line of the largest private sector in the economy after manufacturing, real estate, and health services. The sector also generates about 215,000 jobs, of which ACDET members generate some 150,000.

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