Investors seemed to have liked MerryMart's idea, which will capitalize on FoodPanda's 20,000 riders in the country.
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MerryMart launches online grocery service with foodpanda

Ian Nicolas Cigaral ( - September 23, 2020 - 6:47pm

MANILA, Philippines — Banking on new realities of stay-at-home shopping forced by the pandemic, MerryMart Consumer Corp. is devoting an entire platform for online groceries in partnership with foodpanda.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Wednesday, the up and rising grocery operator unveiled its “dark grocery” service that aims to deliver goods to shoppers in 15 minutes. The first two branches of the so-called “PandaMart” will open in Makati and Manila next month.

“This concept is a real game changer in the online grocery space, imagine being able to buy exactly what you need, when you need it, and for it to arrive at your doorstep in a very short span of time,” Edgar “Injap” Sia II, company chairman, said.

“We see this initiative to complement the expansion of the brick-and-mortar MerryMart branches which will serve both delivery and walk-in customers,” Sia added.

The concept is called “dark grocery” since exact locations of branches in which products will be sold will be hidden and cater exclusively to online customers. 

Investors welcomed MerryMart’s new business idea, with the grocer’s shares rallying 4.67% to close the week at P3.14 each.

Under the plan, dark groceries will offer convenience goods, personal care essentials and other fast moving consumer goods to customers. Groceries will be delivered to clients by over 20,000 foodpanda drivers. 

PandaMart branches that will open next month in Metro Manila will be the latest additions to MerryMart’s 11 operational branches, which the company targets to expand to 25 by yearend and to 100 in 2021.

Come 2030, MerryMart has set sights in operating 1,200 branches and achieve nationwide reach and P120 billion in system-wide sales revenues.

Prospects are so far looking good for MerryMart this year, which has defied a generally bleak financial performance in the bourse. In the first half, the local grocer increased its net income by 24% year-on-year, benefitting from last-minute buying at the onset of the lockdown period in March. 

The company went public in June and raised P1.6 billion on its maiden share sale.

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