By Isabelle Chan, ZDNet Asia


Small and midsize (SMB) retailers in Asia are seeking new
ways to carve a competitive edge, and many are turning to IT as the

According to AMI-Partners’ latest study, IT spending by small
and midsize retailers in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, is
forecast to hit US$11.6 billion this year.

Retail SMB IT spending in India, Indonesia, Philippines and
Vietnam, is forecast to grow more than 15 percent year-on-year in 2007.
“More mature markets” such as Singapore, will grow less than 10 percent
over 2006, Nishant Dave, AMI’s Singapore-based Asia-Pacific research
director, said in a statement.

Retailers in the SMB segment are hoping to reinvent themselves
by adopting new technologies, where PCs, server hardware and IT
services are the top drivers of spending in 2007, according to AMI.

The market analyst also estimates that nearly 150,000 new
retailers in the region will invest in basic PC infrastructure this

The study indicates that countries such as Australia, China,
India, South Korea and Taiwan, will drive the sector’s IT spending.
Storage and security are expected to be the fastest-growing categories
for retail IT spending, growing more than 20 percent year-on-year in

IT managers in these top five retail IT markets are also
looking to upgrade POS (point of sale) systems, set up inventory and
SCM (supply chain management) applications, and implement employee
monitoring and service quality measurement systems, AMI said.