SSI Group to expand food business

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Retailer SSI Group Inc. is looking to grow its food business by bringing a new food concept next year and expanding existing brands this year.

“We’re finalizing the launch of another food concept next year,” SSI Group president Anton Huang said.

For now, he said the company is looking to expand existing food brands.

In particular, he said the firm is focusing on fine casual restaurant Shake Shack and Salad Stop.

“We are concentrating on Shake Shack and finding store number two and store number three fairly soon, depending on how comfortable we are with the performance, with our performance in terms of serving the customers and the like because from a sales perspective, I’m confident it’s going to be beyond what we expect it to be,” he said.

SSI which holds the exclusive franchise of Shake Shack in the country, decided to take the brand as part of its portfolio given strong clamor for it from the local market.

The first Shake Shack outlet in the country, located in Central Square in Bonifacio Global City, opened last Friday.

Huang said SSI is also focusing on expanding healthy food chain Salad Stop this year, given its good performance in the market.

“For us, Salad Stop has been very successful. We currently have around 14 Salad Stop locations today and that continues to thrive and grow very very well,” he said.

He said SSI would be opening new Salad Stop outlets depending on opportunities in real estate.

While food is still a small part of SSI’s business, accounting for 2.5 percent, he said the firm would want to continue to grow this segment as its brands are doing well in the market.

“Food is still small but it is growing. With our investments in the food side of things including our central kitchen and the like, we feel more more confident to be able to expand our food offerings. We have the infrastructure for it already,” he said.

Overall, he said the company expects this year to be another good year in terms of financial performance.

“We are confident that this year will be another good year,” he said.

Net income of SSI surged by 121 percent last year to reach P608.43 million.

This, as revenues increased by 10 percent and reached an all-time high of P20.2 billion.

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