RETAIL and wholesale chain Prince Hypermart is set to open four more branches before 2015 ends, bringing the total number to 28 stores in Visayas and Mindanao.
John Robertson S. Go, Prince Hypermart business development manager, said they will open the first branch in Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental. He disclosed this on Monday during the press conference of TEN-dahang Karnabal, the 10th annual sari-sari store festival organized by Prince.
Unlike other retail chains, Prince Hypermart’s expansions, according to Go, are focused on provincial areas, specifically in Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Leyte, Samar, and Northern Mindanao. Of the 24 existing stores, seven are in Cebu.
As it expands to the countryside, Prince Hypermart has a royalty cardholder base of 245,000. Of these, 75,000 are from Cebu. Traffic in all the stores sums up to roughly 50,000 people per day, according to Prince Hypermart supply chain manager Rina Janine S. Go.
In its provincial expansions, the home-grown chain said it has established close partnerships with sari-sari store owners. Through its Papuno Puhunan sa Prince, finance officer Rissa Julene S. Go said they offer micro-financing which provides a minimum capital of P3,000 worth of goods to store owners.
As part of the company’s advocacy to help sari-sari store owners, the Sari-Sari Store Festival, now on its 10th year, will hold entrepreneurship talks that will help micro entrepreneurs from Visayas and Mindanao learn necessary skills and lessons in growing a sari-sari store. The festival will be held at Viva Sugbo in Mandaue City on August 15. Topics of discussion include entrepreneurship, micro-finance, merchandising, inventory, accounting, and best practices in running a successful sari-sari store business.
In addition, Prince Hypermart officials said consumer brands like Nestle, Unilever, Procter and Gamble, International Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Universal Robina Corp., among many others. will be giving away exclusive deals during the festival.
“Sari-sari store business is relevant to the local economy because it directly helps Filipinos at the grassroots level in getting themselves out of poverty,” Rina said.
Over the years, the official said Prince Hypermart has observed an increased spending activity among its buyers, and items bought have become more sophisticated.
She said that unlike before when buyers opt to go for the lowest price, there’s a demand now for premium items.
“This means they have more money to spend. Their inventories have also upgraded,” Rina said.
Early this year, Philippine Retailers Association chairman emeritus Samie Lim projected that the retail sector will potentially grow its contribution to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) to 20 percent in 10 years from last year’s 13 percent.