RLC increasing presence in Mindanao

Neil Jerome C. Morales (The Philippine Star) - December 2, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The mall developer and multi-format retail chain of tycoon John Gokongwei Jr. are increasing their exposure in Mindanao.

Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC) has started the commercial operations of its 33rd shopping mall while Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. opened its 1,000th store, both in Butuan City in Agusan del Norte province.

Robinsons Place Butuan, RLC’s fourth shopping mall in Mindanao, brings modern shopping experience to the CARAGA region, the company said.

“The Butuan economy is booming and we intend to be part of its growth as the commercial and business hub of the CARAGA region,” said Arlene Magtibay, general manager of RLC’s commercial centers division.

“Robinsons Place Butuan is envisioned to be the premiere shopping mall in the progressive CARAGA region,” RLC said.

The three-level Robinsons Place Butuan has a combined total gross floor area of 45,300 square meters. Adjacent to the shopping mall is the newest branch of RLC’s Go Hotel brand that has 102 rooms.

The multi-format retail arm of the Gokongwei family said it already hit the 1,000-store mark with the opening of a new department store in Northeastern Mindanao.

The country’s second largest retail group said it opened yesterday its 1,000th store, Robinsons Department Store (RDS), in Robinsons Place Butuan in Agusan del Norte province.

“RDS Butuan is a two-level store with a gross selling area of around 7,100 sqm.,” Robinsons Retail said. The 37th RDS branch in the country also features a Toys R Us Toybox section at the second floor together with a business center at the first floor.

Given its newest opening, Robinsons Retail said it is on track to increasing its store network to approximately 1,100 by yearend and around 1,400 by end-2014. The company, which started operations in 1980, ended last year with 912 stores.

Aside from RDS, other anchor tenants in the new mall include Robinsons Supermarket, Robinsons Bank, Robinsons Appliances and Handyman. It also offers various restaurants, specialty shops and boutiques from popular nationwide chains that are investing in Butuan.

RLC said it will also introduce to shoppers numerous homegrown stores and dining outlets featuring local dishes of the region.

“Two more shopping malls, Robinsons Place Malolos and Robinsons Town Mall Malabon are also expected to open this year,” RLC said.

RLC’s Commercial Centers Division contributed 44 percent or P5.47 billion of the property firm’s gross revenues in January to September, up 15.7 percent from a year ago.

Main growth drivers were Metro Manila malls led by Robinsons Galleria and Robinsons Place Manila but most provincial malls also posted decent growth in rental revenues, RLC said.

For its part, Robinsons Retail reported a consolidated net income of P2.04 billion in January to September, more than double the P894.5 million last year.

The retail chain debuted in the local bourse this month through a $621-million initial public offering.

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