Retail warriors share stories of resilience
In times of distress, ordinary people become everyday heroes doing extraordinary things.
Robinsons Supermarket/Released
Retail warriors share stories of resilience
( - March 30, 2020 - 11:00am

MANILA, Philippines — From the start of the Luzon-wide community quarantine on March 12, followed by the enhanced community quarantine suspending operations of public transportation, Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc.‘s (RRHI) supermarket, pharmacies (Southstar Drug and TGP) and convenience stores (Ministop) have continued to provide its service to customers.

All Robinsons Supermarket, Robinsons Easymart, Robinsons Selections, The Marketplace, Shopwise, Shopwise Express, Wellcome branches remain open.

With limitations on public transport, all Robinsons establishments shuttle its employees to and from work, with managers offering rides to others. Lodging was also offered to those who live far away. Employees were also given transportation allowance, free supply of alcohol, face masks and alcohol. 

They do what they can so Robinsons establishments remain open. This is how all Robinsons store personnel stay committed to servicing their fellow Filipinos daily:

Robinsons Supermarket

“Pumasok po ako para po kahit papano makatulong sa mga nangangailangan . . . konting bagay pero malaking tulong na yun. Ito lang naman ang aming maitutulong natin sa kapwa natin,” said Jenny Indita, who mans the cashier at a Robinsons Supermarket branch.

(I go to work no matter what so that I'm able to help others with their needs. It's a small deed on my part, but it goes a long way.)

Robinsons Easymart

“Pumapasok ako kahit may banta ng COVID-19 dahil sa pamilya ko at para na din tulong sa ating mamayang Pilipino upang matugunan ang pang araw-araw nilang pangangailangan. Maliit na bagay lamang ito ngunit malaki na ang maitutulong. Kahit na araw araw naming hinaharap ang hirap pagpsok sa trabaho buong lakas na loob naming inaalay,” said Mary Joy Bellaga, cashier at Robinsons Easymart. 

(I still go to work even if there’s a threat of COVID-19 because of my family and also because I want to help fellow Filipinos with their daily needs. Despite the difficulty of going to work, we bravely face this because we know it will be of big help.)

The Marketplace

"Despite of the threat on COVID19 na may risk po sa kalusugan and ang sakripisyo sa pagpasaok araw-araw sa kabila ng pag-suspend ng mga jeep at bus na karaniwang sinasakyan naming ay pumapasok pa rin po ako para patuloy kong matustusan ang pangangailangan ng aking pamilya at makapagsilbi po ako sa bayan. Ito po ay aking tungkulin at gagampanan ko po ito," said Rocel, Fresh Supervisor at The Marketplace-BGC.

(Despite the threat of COVID-19, its risk to my health, suspension of jeep and buses that we are used to riding to go to work, I still go to work because I need to provide for my family. I also want to serve this country. This is my duty and I have to perform it.)


“Iniisip ko paano naman yung pamilya namin. Since officer ako, kailangan pa ring gumawa ng paraan para hind maging kaawa-awa ang mga nagtatrabaho,” shared Winnie Bit-on of Shopwise Commonwealth.

(I think about how our families will be. Since I am an officer, I need to find ways how my fellow employees won't be helpless.)

“Knowing our colleagues in the store continue to work despite difficulties, and after having received affirmations from our customers—this just further fuels our commitment to service,” said Kerwin Legarde, operations director for The Marketplace and Shopwise.

Making adjustments

Affirmations from customers fuel the passion of the group’s commitment to continue to serve.

For some customers, having the supermarket open offers a sense of normalcy. 

"For Mom and her elderly friends living in Eastwood, this Robinsons remaining operational is a big blessing. Thank you to the whole team, many of which have been serving them beyond the line of duty even before this crisis struck," said Winnie Nieva-Pantango in an online post.

“Thank you Shopwise and to your staff and employees for your service to our country. Shopwise Commonwealth is where I usually do my groceries and just want to say hats off to the store as to how some guidelines were implemented during this enhanced community quarantine so as to ensure the safety of both us, your customers and as well as your employees,” Mary Anne Bagalacsa posted in Shopwise's Facebook page.

“We are grateful to all our frontliners in our stores and distribution centers as they brave all the daily difficulties just to make sure we remain in service of our customers. It is this shared commitment that we know that, together, we will overcome this,” said Jody Gadia, managing director of RRHI’s supermarket division.

When the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, retail’s story will not only be about lost sales, adjusted operating hours or limited manpower. RRHI Supermarket Segment’s retail story will be more about resilience and faithful commitment to customers and employees in a time of uncertainty.  

To our retail warriors: Maraming salamat.   


This article first appeared in the JG Summit website here.

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