Retailers group: Firms turn to sales promotions, wider e-commerce ops to bring back customers

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 9) - With the COVID-19 pandemic still holding some people back from going to malls and stores for shopping sprees or simple retail therapy, firms needed to get creative in attracting customers.

Speaking to CNN Philippines' The Exchange, Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) chairman Paul Santos emphasized how businesses who were able to stay afloat while so many closed down have prioritized preserving their coffers.

"One of the things that helps them do this is to clear out their inventory and launch a lot of sales promotions left and right," he explained.

Sales promotions were among the main tools retailers used not only to rake in cash, but reel people back to their shops, he added.

Shoppers still hesitant to visit brick-and-mortar stores need not worry because owners have also hopped on the digitalization wagon, according to the PRA chief.

"Some retailers, especially those who have been very reluctant in the past...have accelerated their e-commerce programs," Santos added.

A recent Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas survey showed consumer optimism for the third quarter has improved, with the confidence index finally swinging to positive territory from the previous quarter. 

Santos agreed the confidence among buyers has indeed improved, citing the availability of vaccine doses - at least to certain population sectors - as fueling increased foot traffic in malls and establishments.

The government has been vaccinating medical frontliners, senior citizens, essential workers, and indigents against the contagious disease. As of July 8, over 3.2 million Filipinos have already received their two doses.