SM signs deal with Waltermart-A A +A
Thursday, January 10, 2013
THE recent joint venture of the SM Investments Corp. (SMIC) and the Waltermart Group signifies the Sy family’s optimistic outlook on the country’s vibrant retail industry, a top official said.
SM Prime Holdings Inc. vice president Marissa Fernan on Wednesday told reporters that the collaboration of two big retail firms, showed the confidence and optimism of the Sy family in growing the retail industry.
Although, there were no talks of possible investments for Cebu yet, Fernan said the recent developments only meant that the company is serious in expanding and strengthening its retail base in the country. This also presents new opportunities in the industry, given the “aggressive” expansion of the SM Group, particularly in provincial areas.
SMIC told the Philippine Stock Exchange in a disclosure Monday that it entered into an agreement with Waltermart through subsidiaries SM Retail Inc. and SM Prime Holdings Inc.
Waltermart, which is owned by the Lim family, is a shopping mall and supermarket chain. It has 17 malls located in Metro Manila, Batangas, Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga and Nueva Ecija.
Fernan said they remain confident despite the proliferation of new retail players and have been constantly looking for ways to upgrade the products and services offered to give customers a “total shopping experience.”
She said that proof of this innovation is the SM Seaside City the firm’s latest mall development at the South Road Properties, which offers “visual and sensory” experience.
One feature planned for the Seaside City is the 100-meter viewing tower described as a “new landmark” that offers “sensational panoramic views of the entire city of Cebu.” Fernan said the viewing tower will be the first in the Visayas.
She said the company wants to develop Seaside City into having a good retail mix with concepts found abroad being considered for the development.
Fernan said the company is currently making presentations to prospective locations.
A mall, a large church, hotels, a conference and convention center, residential buildings, a school and hospital are among the facilities that will be built inside the SM SRP complex.
Fernan said the construction of the Seaside City, which is due for completion by 2014, is already 20 percent complete.
“SM malls are also not affected by the establishment of strip malls and community centers, as malls have always been peoples’ alternative to beaches and parks,” she said.
The SM Retail Group has a total of 193 stores and mall operator SM Prime has 46 malls in the Philippines with a gross floor area of 5.5 million square meters as of September 2012.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 11, 2013.