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SMU, Spring, EDB launch retail industry development centre

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Professor Kapil R. Tuli (Centre Director, Retail Centre of Excellent and Professor of Marketing Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University) giving an introduction to the Asian Retail Leaders Programme.

SINGAPORE Management University (SMU), Spring Singapore and the Economic Development Board (EDB) have jointly launched the Retail Centre of Excellence (RCoE) to offer research and insight into Singapore's retail industry.

The Centre will be housed at SMU's Lee Kong Chian School of Business, and is led by SMU marketing professor Kapil Tuli. Its founding members are DFS Venture, Microsoft, Harvey Norman, Ikea, Popular Holdings, Decathlon and Tiffany and Co.

Speaking at Tuesday's launch, Minister of State for Trade and Industry Sim Ann said that the centre will "position Singapore as a thought leader for the retail industry in the Asia-Pacific region".

She noted that the retail knowledge-sharing hub will offer retailers a key resource to learn and adopt best practices against the backdrop of a rapidly evolving digital economy.

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The Centre will adopt three key areas of focus: establishing thought leadership in the region, retail-specific research, and talent development, Ms Sim said.

In a press release, SMU said that the Centre's launch was "timely, given the global retail industry's estimated worth of US$28 trillion by 2019, and the retail industry being earmarked as a key industry for growth in Singapore".

Indeed, as Ms Sim noted in her speech, there are about 23,000 retail establishments in Singapore contributing almost 1.4 per cent to its gross domestic product, and 4 per cent of employment.