Prince Warehouse to boost presence in major provinces
- Ehda Dagooc () - July 21, 2010 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu-based retail store chain Prince Warehouse Club has started to open up branches in other provinces in Southern Philippines.

Prince Warehouse Club president and chief executive officer (CEO) Robert Go said that the chain will open a department store and supermarket outlet in Baybay, Leyte before the end of this year.

Go said the big retail facility in Baybay, Leyte is now under construction, and will officially kick-off the company’s thrust to make presence in major provinces in Visayas and Mindanao.

Go however refused to divulge other expansion plans being lined up in the next few years, he said the company is still looking at good opportunities in other areas to make a major presence in the Southern Philippines.

To date, there are a total of eight Prince Warehouse Club outlets in Metro Cebu. Go said the chain will leverage on its strong support from the mainstream market, especially the Sari-Sari Store operators.

Because of this thrust, he said it is an opportunity for the company to spread its wings in expanding, in order to help the micro-industry in retail, which is the sari-sari store sector.

In fact, the company recently established a micro-finance firm to support its network of Sari-Sari Store owners in the province, as well as neighboring areas in Cebu, and soon in the entire Southern Philippine region.

Through the R&J7 Credit Corporation, 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.

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 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.

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.”

Go hopes to build a huge network of Sari-Sari store owners in the region, specifically if it has to establish its own retail facility in the provinces.

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