TEN more stores under the Metro Gaisano retail chain will be opened in 2014, a top official said yesterday.
The Cebu company opened eight new stores this year, an expansion fueled by the country’s thriving retail industry.
Yesterday, it soft-opened its 29th store, the hypermarket-themed Super Metro in Mambaling, Cebu City.
Eduard Gaisano, Vicsal Development Corp. board director, said the company’s aggressive expansion in the retail scene is a manifestation of their continued confidence on the country’s economy.
The new Super Metro in Mambaling is a 5,000 square-meter three-level shopping center that boasts of a “modern shopping experience.” Gaisano said the thrust of the company is to build new and convert their existing retail chain into modern shopping facilities.
By modern shopping, he means shopping centers that are well-lighted, has organized shopping displays with modern ambiance.
“On top of affordable prices, consumers these days look for shopping centers that offer convenience and good shopping experience,” said Gaisano. “We are taking the shopping experience a notch higher, particularly in untapped markets, and we are seeing new opportunities in modern shopping.”
Super Metro is a retail chain wholly owned by Vicsal Development Corp. Hypermarkets are stores that allot 60 percent for food and the remaining for dry goods and general merchandise.
Of the 10 stores that will open next year, half of these will be supermarkets while the other five will be hypermarkets. Half will also be located in Luzon, the other half will be in Visayas.
Among the confirmed stores that are opening next year in Cebu are located in Carcar, Carmen, Colon St., and two in Mandaue City, according to Metro Supermarket managing director Eric Poiret.
Gaisano said 2013 was challenging for the industry due to calamities that devastated areas in the Visayas. These, however, increased retail activities.
“It was a bit challenging because the distribution aspect was affected as we gave more priority to the relief operations. Christmas-related spending slowed down. There was a bit delay, although Christmas shopping is slowly picking up now,” he said.
Gaisano expects retail activity to normalize by next year. “Home-related purchases is expected to increase as rebuilding and rehabilitation efforts commence,” he said.
Poiret said homegrown brands remain competitive despite the presence of national and foreign retail players because they have adopted to the changing retail landscape.
“We have improved the stores’ look and ambiance making it conducive for modern shoppers. We have also upgraded the items we carry from local to imported goods, ensuring high quality from sourcing to selling,” said Poiret, adding that there has been an increase in purchases of imported goods.
“Filipinos love to see new things. And from them basic commodities there is a change of consumer preference to premium and fresh concepts,” said Poiret.
He added the opening of the store reinforced the company’s presence specifically in the Southern area of Cebu.
The Super Metro in Mambaling houses a dozen tenants.