Philippine Retailers Association

RED-y to roll in the time of pandemic


When COVID-19 struck and slowed many businesses around the world, the retail industry was among the hardest hit. The lockdown restrictions forced retailers to shutter stores, lay off workers, and rapidly pivot to e-commerce platforms to survive. With the doom came the gloom, and retail employees found themselves wearing long faces as they serve as store frontliners.

This prompted the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA), which serves as the “pulse and voice of the Philippine retail industry” since its inception in 1976, to adopt a different strategy. As the recognized national organization of retailers in the country, PRA promotes fair trade practices and responsible business operations that protect consumer welfare and at the same time increase opportunities for members to become globally competitive. PRA also encourages its members to become socially responsible and contribute towards the country’s socio-economic development.

Since 2018, the PRA has been celebrating Retail Employees’ Day (RED) every 12th of December. It took inspiration from the Retail Association of India (RAI), where RED started.  The industrywide campaign seeks to encourage retail employers, as well as customers, to recognize the efforts of retail employees across the country and all over the world. The day aims to create awareness for their jobs and lives and the significant role they play in the lives of the customer.

2020, however, was a year like no other because of the global pandemic. Thus, PRA encouraged its over member companies to celebrate RED in a different but equally meaningful way: by thanking and honoring Filipino retail employees for their brave and steadfast dedication to their work and service amidst the pandemic.

To show their appreciation for their retail employees, particularly the frontliners in their stores,  PRA members created employee recognition and appreciation programs, sent personalized thank you notes or video messages from their top management, holding talent contests, and other employee-related events.

“The RED celebration motivated and inspired retail workers to rise up and keep going amidst the pandemic challenges. The simple actions of gratitude and recognition of their efforts have priceless impact to them. It goes to show that small acts of kindness and gratitude empower people and inspire them to be more and do more,” said PRA.

RED turned retail employees’ long faces into cheerful, motivated, and happy smiles, creating stronger bond, trust, and camaraderie among their colleagues.

For its RED campaign, the PRA was recognized in the People Empowerment Category of the ANG SUSI Awards, the first and only search for the best associations and association executives in the Philippines which recognizes the association sector’s contributions to national sustainable development. The award was bestowed by the Philippine Council of Associations and Association Executives (PCAAE), the “association of associations” in the country.

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