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Business

Resurgence of fashion buoys SM Retail growth

Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star
Resurgence of fashion buoys SM Retail growth
Work outfits for men on display at The SM Store.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — SM Retail, the anchor of the Sy family’s vast shopping empire, said its net income almost doubled to P7 billion in the first half of the year as the easing of lockdown restrictions spurred a resurgence in shopping and as the company optimized cost efficiencies across all retail formats.

In a report, SM Retail said its revenue went up by 18 percent to P163.7 billion. Fashion categories that include clothes, shoes, bag, accessories and beauty, in particular, ended the second quarter on a high note, reaching 95 percent of pre-pandemic sales.

“The resurgence of fashion has been driven by more energized spending as the economy reopens. To meet this vibrant demand, we ensure that we provide relevant and up-to-date merchandise and constantly innovate to address the Filipino shopper’s ever-changing needs,” said Dhinno Tiu, SM EVP for operations and sales support.

He said to provide sustainable options for customers, SM Retail pioneered the SM Green Finds initiative to enhance its offerings. As part of the company’s contribution to preserving the environment, the advocacy showcases responsibly made products by local artisans and suppliers.

Through SM’s home, fashion, and beauty lines, sustainable products such as kitchenware made from high-quality bamboo or tableware from acacia wood, fashion pieces from recycled materials, and beauty products free from harmful chemicals can be found.

The SM Store also saw a resurgence in its fashion department with the lifting of community restrictions that drew more crowds in stores and malls. Moreover, demand for fashion items was spurred by the resumption of school and face-to-face classes and the return to office set-up.

People emerged from community lockdowns badly needing wardrobe upgrades to go back to working in offices. As school reopened, there was also a pick-up in demand for school essentials – from shirts, uniforms, socks, shoes to bags and stationery supplies.

Style trends shifted dramatically in the couple of years of the pandemic. Whether staying or working from home, people leaned towards comfortable lounge garments. ‘Athleisure’ also emerged to reflect a more active lifestyle.

People also started to bike to work, first arising from mobility restrictions but extending towards the promotion of one’s health and wellness, which required the appropriate and necessary gear.

To target the youth, the SM Store developed a ‘Tee bar’ or that showcases T-shirts with young and whimsical designs. The introduction of more gadget categories from earphones to gaming keyboards, also caters to a new gaming and tech savvy generation.

SM

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