Interview with Yoep Man, Commercial and Marketing Director (China), SPAR International
How would you define the current momentum of the retail sector in Asia?
This is the period of accelerated growth in Asia. The size of the market is rapidly expanding due to the emergence of the urban middle class and the rise of disposable income. Due to the vast size of the opportunity, the APAC region has become a battleground for retailers and we see that international, national, local retailers are competing for marketshare. We are witnessing a certain level of consolidation with M&As across the region as well as the emergence of small-medium sized retail companies. Thus within this market, there is still all to play for.
Where are the growth areas for your company?
The growth areas are:
- Finding the right retail format and/or channel to win market share
- E-commerce and m-commerce
What challenges and issues keep you awake at night?
The challenges are:
- Supply chain: operational efficiencies and effectiveness
- Route-to-market strategy: how to reach customers in lower tier cities
- Rising costs of operations e.g. rent / labour / energy
In 2004, Yoep Man joined SPAR International –the global head office of the worldwide SPAR organization which oversees the operations of over 12,000 SPAR stores in 40 countries worldwide and EUR 32 bln turnover. Since 2004, Yoep Man has been working as the part of the International Business Development team of SPAR International on the development and expansion of the SPAR organization in Asia Pacific whilst having a special focus on the Chinese market.
Whilst being based out of Shanghai, he currently heads up the marketing and commercial departments of SPAR China as the Marketing and Commercial Director. This responsibility (dual) involves building the SPAR brand in China; expanding the SPAR retail and distribution network in China; and overseeing all commercial activities. Since his appointment to the Board of Directors within SPAR China in 2011, Yoep Man also takes active part in setting out the strategic direction for future development of SPAR in China.