Gokongwei Group to rebrand Ministop

Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Gokongwei Group will rebrand Ministop Philippines after it buys out its Japanese partner Ministop.

Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. (RRHI) president and CEO Robina Gokongwei-Pe said owning 100 percent of Ministop Philippines provides a good opportunity to RRHI, especially amid changing customer habits and preferences brought about by the pandemic.

“Ministop Japan decided to exit in some of their overseas markets, including the Philippines, and concentrate in their home market, so we said it was a good opportunity now to operate and repurpose the stores as we see fit,” Gokongwei-Pe told The STAR.

In a disclosure yesterday, RRHI, the retail arm of the Gokongwei Group, said the company, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Robinsons Supermarket Corp., would acquire Ministop Japan’s (MSJ) 40 percent stake in Robinsons Convenience Stores Inc. (RCSI) this February.

This would increase RRHI’s share in the company to a full 100 percent from 60 percent. RCSI is the exclusive franchisee of Ministop in the Philippines, operating some 460 Ministops in the country.

“Under the new agreement with Ministop Japan, RRHI will continue to operate the stores using the Ministop brand within the transition period agreed upon with Ministop Japan, until they are repurposed and appropriately rebranded in consideration of strong ready-to-eat offerings such as Uncle John’s Fried Chicken and Kariman,” RRHI said in its disclosure.

Other Ministop favorite offerings are Toppers, MySundae and Chillz.

Moving forward, Suresh Ramalinggam, general manager of Ministop Philippines, said the rebranded Ministop would offer new products and would continue to carry its popular offerings.

“Our stores will continue to carry our bestsellers while we continue to diversify our ready-to-eat menu and offer new products to the market. Customers can also rely on our convenient e-services and bills payment facilities,” Ramalinggam said.

Gokongwei-Pe thanked Ministop Japan for the partnership over the years.

“Under the Ministop banner we were able to bring to the public well-loved products and essential services,” she said.

In 2000, RRHI partnered with Ministop Co. and Mitsubishi Corp. to establish Ministop in the Philippines.

In 2018, RRHI raised its stake and acquired Mitsubishi’s shares in the joint venture company, eventually bringing RRHI’s ownership to 60 percent from 51 percent previously.

Originally from Japan, Ministop has become one of the best known convenience stores among urban communities and business districts in Metro Manila, areas in Luzon and Visayas.

RRHI is the retail arm of the Gokongwei Group. It has six business segments, namely, supermarkets; department stores; DIY stores; convenience stores; drug stores; and specialty stores.


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