SINGAPORE will work to boost its retail industry under a 2020 plan that is aimed at, among other things, boosting the e-commerce share of total retail receipts to 10 per cent from the current 3 per cent in four years.
Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran on Thursday launched the "retail industry transformation map", which is developed by Spring Singapore in partnership with trade associations, unions and the industry.
Similar to a plan launched for the food services industry, the map brings in strategies to drive growth through innovation; improve productivity with technology; build a "future-ready" and productive retail workforce; and help Singapore retail companies go global.
The 2020 vision for the retail industry is to have a mix of highly productive omni-channel retailers - that is, retailers that go beyond brick-and-mortar - local brand owners with global footprints, and to be supported by a professional and skilled workforce, he said.
In a speech, Mr Iswaran said another goal for the retail industry is to achieve an average annual productivity growth rate of one per cent from now until 2020 without increasing the sector's overall reliance on manpower. He noted the retail industry's challenges from the growing penetration of e-commerce, as well as manpower constraints.
Singapore, however, can tap the growing middle class in Asia, he said. With technology, retailers also have easier access to information across markets.
Singapore's retail industry is made up of about 21,000 retail establishments, employing approximately 3 per cent of the total workforce and contributing almost 1.4 per cent of Singapore's gross domestic product, industry figures showed.