Prince Warehouse to support network of "sari-sari" stores
- Ehda Dagooc () - June 22, 2010 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Prince Warehouse Club chain of department stores and supermarkets has established a micro-finance company to support its network of Sari-Sari Store owners in the province, as well as neighboring areas in Cebu.

Through the R&J7 Credit Corporation, Prince Warehouse Club president Robert Go said Sari-Sari owners will be saved from being victimized by the loan sharks who are charging high interest for credit.

Initially, the new micro-credit company will have at least P1 million capitalizations, to start off its bid to support the growing Sari-Sari store industry, of which owners are not usually granted loans from banks and other financial institutions.

In an interview with Go, he said that there is a need to help the Sari-Sari Store industry, as these sector is mostly not being attended to, or owners only depend their capitalization sources, through 5/6 loan facility, which is not helping their businesses.

The Prince Warehouse Club, which has a total of eight branches all over Cebu, and now constructing store in BayBay, Leyte, will start to support the small sari-sari owners by providing them lending facility to help their business grow.

The R&J 7 Credit Corporation’s strategy is to provide a credit line to member sari-sari store, through its network of membership in Prince Warehouse Club, via providing goods equivalent to the total credit amount approved to the borrower.

According to Go, the establishment of the credit corporation, is part of the Prince Warehouse Club’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) program to help this almost “unseen” sector in the economy.

He said Sari-Sari Store phenomenon although it has been part of the Filipino culture, need to be given attention to, especially for the financial institutions. While   most of them owners, can not comply with the needed requirements by the banks in order to get financial help, Go said micro-finance companies, such as R&J 7 will provide them the facility that will help them thrive in their small businesses.

Instead of giving cash, Go said the amount approved to be loaned to the borrower will be converted to goods. This may be worth P3,000 or P5,000 depends on the approved amount to the borrower.

“We will not lend them money. We will fund their small sari-sari store business through stocks,” Go said.          

Prince Warehouse Club has started to establish its network of Sari-Sari store in the entire Cebu, and other areas in neighboring provinces, “to provide them the venue to learn, be exposed and know the latest in the small retail trade.”

Next month, Go said his company will host its 5th Sari-Sari Store Convention in Cebu, that is expected to gather over 2,000 delegates from Cebu and other provinces.

According to Go, through the convention sari-sari store owners will be encouraged to grow in their businesses.

This is also the time for them, to know the latest in the micro-retail industry, the opportunities, and how to cope with the changing consumer preferences. (THE FREEMAN)

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