SM Group to expand presence in provinces

Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The SM Group wants to expand in more regions across the Philippines to reach more communities, according to SM Investments Corp. president and CEO Frederic DyBuncio.

DyBuncio said the listed conglomerate of the Sy family would continue to invest in areas that are “underserved and with great potential.”

“Our businesses are still operating in many highly underpenetrated sectors and we intend to serve Philippine communities in more regions nationwide,” DyBuncio said.

The company has been increasing its focus in provincial areas where local economies are growing faster.

At present, over 80 percent of SM’s new retail stores are in provincial areas which greatly benefit from growing overseas remittances.

SM Retail, the retail arm of SM Investments, currently operates over 3,300 department stores, groceries and specialty retail stores.

Listed SM Prime Holdings Inc., the property development arm of SM Investments, is expanding further into the provinces, particularly to cover most of Northern Luzon, Visayas and the progressive cities in Mindanao.

In 2022, SM Prime opened four malls across different provinces.

These are in SM City Roxas, its first mall in Capiz Province; SM City Tanza in the historic province of Cavite; SM City Sorsogon in the Bicol peninsula as the gateway of Luzon to the Visayas and Mindanao regions; and most recently, SM City Tuguegarao in Cagayan Province, its 82nd mall in the Philippines.

To date, SM Prime has 58 malls in the provincial areas and 24 malls in Metro Manila.

As of the end of last year, SMDC has 18 residential developments in key provincial cities.

In 2022 alone, SMDC launched Vail Residences in Cagayan de Oro, Now Residences in Pampanga, and Zeal Residences in General Trias, Cavite, integrated into SM Prime’s malls and transport terminals for the convenience of communities.

“The potential of the Philippines remains enormous with a young, energetic, service-oriented and still growing population.  SM remains optimistic on Philippine growth driven by this market,” DyBuncio said.

Through its hotels and conventions business, SM is also hitching a ride on the country’s huge tourism potential.

At present, SM Hotels and Convention Centers Corp. operates nine world-class properties situated in key cities nationwide, namely Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay City, Pico de Loro Beach and Country Club and Pico Sands Hotel in Batangas, Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu, Conrad Manila in Pasay City, and Park Inn by Park Inn by Radisson hotels in North Edsa, Clark, Davao, Iloilo and Bacolod.

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