The Malta Chamber, Enterprise and Industry CEO Marthese Portelli has called for retailers to “fully reimagine” their business models in the constantly changing post-COVID-19 market.
She was speaking during the first of this year’s series of Industry Focus Sessions held recently by EY Malta in collaboration with The Malta Chamber. These sessions leverage the insights of the EY Future Consumer Index across different sectors, The Malta Chamber’s network, and also the perspective of business leaders in the market. With this particular session being focused on the retail sector, the primary aim was to continue exploring new avenues of opportunities to “redefine the industry” in the ever-evolving local and global market following the pandemic.
Introducing the event, Dr Portelli said that “retailers need to fully reimagine their business models”.
“Very few have taken or are taking the full plunge. Some retailers are choosing to retain the status quo, while others are responding with incremental changes,” she added.
She noted that such “passivity” has prompted “reduced spending and insufficient investment in crucial areas”.
Additionally, Dr Portelli emphasised three main areas which the retail industry must work on, with these being: managing the skills shift, adopting a more agile and omni-channel operating model, and also embracing automation across their generations.
This was followed by a presentation by Gilbert Guillaumier, EY Malta Strategy and Transactions Partner, and Gianluca Trapani, EY Malta Strategy and Transactions Senior, who showcased the local results of the 8th EY Future Consumer Survey against the backdrop of global insights. The survey highlighted affordability, accelerated digital adoption, focus on health, awareness of sustainability issues, and seeking experiences as key emerging trends affecting consumer behaviour.
The topics were covered further during a panel discussion including Farsons Group CEO Norman Aquilina, Debono Group Holdings Company Ltd CEO Geoffrey Debono, and Take Off and BundleX CEO and Founder Alona Andruk, moderated EY Malta Strategy and Transactions Enablement Leader Theo Dix.
Closing the event, The Malta Chamber Head of Communications and Strategy Rachel Attard said that the survey “showed that consumers and retailers are vividly aware that this is a time of disruption”.
“There is increasing pressure on profitability and return on capital. But at the same time there is a growth of opportunities, new opportunities, leading to a sustainable future,” she continued.
The Malta Chamber CEO Marthese Portelli / The Malta Chamber
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