Welcome Address by Mr R Dhinakaran at Singapore Retail Industry Conference (SRIC) 2017

  • Date
    08 Sep 2017
  • In This Story

Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Trade & Industry

Dear SRA Members,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen.


On behalf of Singapore Retailers Association, together with SPRING Singapore, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to today’s Industry Conference, which is also the 26th edition organised annually by Singapore Retailers Association.

Following the launch of the Industry Transformation Roadmap last September, SRA set up the Retail Industry Task Force in collaboration with SPRING Singapore, Workforce Singapore and SkillsFuture Singapore and comprise retailers participation from Dairy Farm Singapore, Metro Pte Ltd and Wing Tai Apparel. The Retail Industry Task Force is led by Mrs Helen Khoo, Executive Director of Wing Tai Apparel.

The key objectives of the Retail Industry Task Force are to develop strategies to promote growth and competitiveness amidst challenging economic conditions and to leverage disruption from technological advances to catalyse and bring about enhanced productivity, skill up the workforce, drive innovation and value creation and internationalise through digital channels.

The recently concluded Great Singapore Sale where it went digital with GoSpree is just the beginning of the digital roadmap which SRA hopes that its members and retailers will continue to embrace. GoSpree now boasts over 32,000 members and over 120 merchants offering exclusive deals and discounts which has helped boost shopper traffic and spending in-store. GoSpree has moved beyond GSS 2017, with year-long tactical promotions to help merchants tap on events and special occasions like the upcoming Singapore Golden Week, Black Friday and Christmas just to name a few to help drive shoppers back to the stores.

My apologies Minister, but I cannot contain my excitement and as such will pre-empt your announcement to thank SPRING Singapore and International Enterprise (IE) Singapore for giving Singapore Retailers Association the opportunity and the go-ahead to embark on the Local Enterprise and Association Development Plus (LEAD+) Programme. We look forward to strengthening the Secretariat’s capabilities so as to responsibly champion the mass adoption of the various productivity initiatives from in-store technologies to supply chain/logistics solutions by retailers and drive new initiatives that can potentially become game-changers to help transform the retail industry.

As part of the LEAD+ programme which SRA will embark on, SRA members can look forward to incentives and subsidies to get onboard such digital solutions; an enhanced GoSpree App to increase engagement, redemption of eCoupons and enhance the customer journey for both GoSpree members and participating merchants . The upcoming interactive SRA website portal and mobile App will enable the Secretariat to stay engaged with SRA members, make it convenient to book and make payments for membership fees, training courses and workshops and even buy a table to host your business associates at the SRA Ball.

On this note, I would also like to stress that digital disruption is an opportunity to be grasped but it can never, and should never completely overtake the human interface with our customers. That is also why online players have taken to brick and mortar stores as they found the value placed on in-store experiences is far higher now than before, and that the journey to making a purchase is an emotionally-charged process – which helps fulfil the intangible aspects of face to face customer engagement.

Shopping is at the end of the day an activity to be enjoyed, and retailers must leverage on that knowledge, and technology to create meaningful interaction and memorable experiences to keep our shoppers coming back!

We hope you will enjoy and benefit richly from the line-up of esteemed Speakers and engaging Workshops we have for you today.

Thank You.

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