Puregold forays into online shopping
(The Philippine Star) - May 19, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Puregold Price Club Inc. of retail tycoon Lucio Co is venturing into e-commerce to capitalize on the popularity of shopping using the Internet.

Puregold president Vincent Co said the company’s foray into online shopping would start initially with Tindahan ni Aling Puring (TNAP) members who are mostly sari-sari store owners.

“We want to have a niche market first before we go full blast. Customers now are very demanding. So based on our research, sari-sari store owners are usually the ones who cannot leave their houses instantly. Should they leave, they have to close their stores and that means less sales for them,” Co said in an interview yesterday following Puregold’s annual sari-sari store convention.

Co said the company intends to eventually expand its e-commerce venture to cover all consumers.

“So our online shopping is going to start with very targeted customers at first. Better that way so we can get feedback.  We are studying it very carefully because we want to offer something different once we decide to go full blast with e-commerce,” he said.

Puregold vice president for operations Antonio de los Santos said the company’s venture into e-commerce with TNAP members as its initial market would start within the third  quarter, while that catering to all consumers is targeted within the year.

Puregold is the country’s second largest grocery retailer with 255 stores as of end-2015.

Other major retailers in the country have been aggressive in expanding their services online.

On Monday, Robinsons Retail Holdings of the Gokongwei family announced its partnership with HappyFresh Philippines for an online grocery delivery service.

The SM Group of the Sy family has launched in 2014 an e-commerce website for The SM Store, its department store business. It also forged a partnership with Lazada last March to sell its merchandise on the latter’s platform.

Specialty retailer SSI Group Inc. of the Tantoco family has also made its presence available online to further boost accessibility of its products to customers.

“What we want is to create a separate organization or a business unit for that e-commerce venture. There is a different mindset and expertise for a physical store and e-commerce,” Co said.

Puregold has earmarked P1 billion for capital expenditures this year to further beef up its presence in the country.

The firm targets to add 25 stores for the year, six of which have already been opened so far.

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