THE Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) Cebu said it has already earned the support of Cebu City Councilor Nestor Archival in protecting local homegrown brands against the influx of foreign brands in malls.
“We already discussed (the issue) with Councilor Nestor Archival, who will file a resolution that malls should give allocation of 10 percent space for local, homegrown brands with special discounted rates and protection from undue termination,” said PRA Cebu Chapter president Robert Go in a text message yesterday.
Early this year, the organization drafted a letter to the local government units (LGU) to seek the support of local officials to create an ordinance persuading malls to give special non-discriminatory locations and special rates for homegrown businesses.
At present, mall operators are giving the premium locations to big foreign brands, leaving the “not-so-best-spot” or locations with not enough foot traffic to homegrown brands.
According to Go, prioritizing local tenants in malls is already a big help for homegrown brands to be competitive amidst the already tight competition in the local retail scene participated in by big international brands.
“What we would like to happen is they (mall operators) also prioritize local retailers in terms of location and rate so we can continue to spur local entrepreneurship.
All we wanted is a level playing field so we can also thrive,” said Go in past interviews.
Mall expansions in Cebu have remained robust, with big players like Robinsons Galleria and SM Seaside City opening in the later part of this year and homegrown mall chains expanding in the countryside.
Meanwhile, Go said PRA Cebu members are heading to Manila to join the Asia Pacific Retail Conference and Exhibition (APRCE) on Oct. 28 to 30 at the SM Mall of Asia.
APRCE is a major project of the Federation of Asia-Pacific Retailers Association. Held every two years, the event has become Asia’s biggest and longest running retail convention and exhibition since it began in 1983 in Tokyo, Japan.
This year’s convention has adopted the theme “Asia Fast Forward” to highlight the region’s growing strength as an economic community.
According to the United Nations, the Asia Pacific accounts for 60 percent of the world’s population, with an estimated four billion people, making it a top destination for global retail chains. Asia continues to serve as the main driver of retail growth in the world as countries’ economies to develop and grow robustly, said APRCE.