A 15-year old Injap Sia manning the cash register at his parents’ grocery store in Capiz.
Injap Sia goes full circle, ventures back into retail
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - August 5, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Edgar “Injap” Sia II will forever be known as the man from the far-away province of Capiz who founded the Mang Inasal chicken barbeque chain.

Little do many people know, however, that Injap’s entrepreneurial and retail blood came from a family of grocery operators. Thus, he grew up knowing the grocery business like the back of his hand.

“Grocery retail has been in our blood, as our family has been in the grocery business in Capiz since the 1950s. Our family initially had no plans to expand the grocery business, but our recent experiences in DoubleDragon made us realize the need for us to directly be in the modern grocery retail business,” Sia told The STAR. 

The grocery store of his parents was like his home, he said. 

“For many years, the grocery retail store of my parents was our living room growing up, during school days we are in the store every weekend, and during summer time we would be in the grocery the whole day everyday,” he recalled.

The man who would one day make it big in the country’s competitive business landscape started from the bottom – from helping tag prices of the grocery items to many other difficult tasks. 

“My routine then was to help tag prices of the grocery items then display them properly at the shelf, in the afternoon I would repack sugar, roll plastic covers etc., then during peak hours I would do cashiering. At the end of the day I would also help my parents collect and count the day sales from the cashiers and prepare the coins and small bills needed for the following day,” he said.

It is thus no wonder that Sia would one day open his very own supermarket under a pioneering brand, MerryMartGrocery Centers.

This marks a homecoming of sorts for Sia whose family has been operating a grocery chain in Capiz.

The newly opened MerryMart Grocery Centers at DoubleDragon Plaza in the Manila Bay area.

“This is going back to our basics. My grandfather started his grocery store in the 1950’s in our hometown. My parents as well opened their own  grocery business way back in 1989 and have been operating successfully for 30 years and counting. This background gives our family extensive experience in the retail business,” Sia said.

A company under Injap Investments Inc., MerryMart Grocery Centers Inc. opened its first supermarket at the ground floor of DoubleDragon Plaza in the Manila Bay area.

MerryMart aims to cover all the grocery retail categories from small, medium and large grocery retail formats. 

The supermarket chain also aims to reach P120 billion in systemwide sales revenue, and a timetable to achieve the targets within 12 years, completing the company’s 12-12-12 Vision 2030.

“Our goal is to have a total of 1,200 MerryMart retail branches by 2030. Expansion is also expected to be boosted through franchising as we aim to convert existing traditional supermarkets in the provinces to the MerryMart system. The MerryMart franchise platform will allow these existing stand alone traditional supermarkets to transform and become part of the modern retail chain network. The franchise platform will also allow them to bridge the ongoing retail transformation as eventually the MerryMart ecosystem will have the branding, scale and volume essential to stay relevant and competitive,” Sia said.

Thus, by October this year, MerryMart would be available for franchise. 

Moving forward, Sia said MerryMart is positioned to serve all the consumer segments in the country.

“It will have various retail formats such as MerryMart Supermarket, MerryMart Grocery, MerryMart Market and MerryMart Store. They will vary on size and merchandise assortment depending on the location and customer profile of the specific branch,” he said.

With Sia’s track record for growing a brand and his roots in the grocery business, it wouldn’t be surprising if MerryMart indeed becomes a household name soon.

“We are happy with the overall outcome of first MerryMart store. Sales have been improving month on month. We are currently polishing all the aspects of the first store as well as putting in place the systems and procedures in preparation for the rapid expansion. We are determined to soon make MerryMart another vibrant homegrown Filipino household brand,” Sia said.

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