business news in context, analysis with attitude

As so many people around the world deal with economic hard times, TNS Retail Forward has published a report, “China’s Retail Landscape,” in which it predicts that “China will sustain double-digit nominal retail sales growth in the next five years despite short-term pressures. This will push the size of the retail market in China to more than $1.4 trillion by 2012, surpassing Japan to become the second-largest retail market in the world behind the United States.”

While there is expected to be a tougher operating environment and some short-term consolidation due to inflation, growing government emphasis on product safety and environmental regulation, the report says that “a continued influx of new retail banners, with particular interest among upscale apparel retailers, suggests there remains opportunity for entry into China. The continuing opportunity in China also is evident in the stepped-up expansion plans by a broad spectrum of retailers,” including Wal-Mart, Tesco, Carrefour, and Best Buy.

“China remains one of the best retail opportunities in the world, with strong growth forecast across retail categories," says Frank Badillo, Senior Economist and Manager of the company's Global Retailing Program, adding, “The continued popularity of local neighborhood markets in China suggests that local independent retailers and longstanding shopping habits remain strong. At the same time, our research illustrates that high shopping frequency at hypermarkets, convenience stores and traditional department stores shows strong interest among Chinese shoppers for the new modern retail formats that are fast entering the marketplace.”

KC's View:
The question I want answered is how long it is going to take for China to become not the second-largest retail market in the world, but passes the US to become number one.

I’m thinking 2013.