Against convenience stores, sari-sari store business to survive competition
Ehda Dagooc (The Freeman) - October 30, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Home-based entrepreneurship particularly the sari-sari store concept may be affected by the strong inflow of convenience store investments across the Philippines, but it is seen to hold on.

Philippine Retailers Association (PRA-Cebu Chapter) president Robert Go said the business of sari-sari store may shrink mostly in the urban areas, but it will still thrive in the barangays, small towns, and even in some subdivisions.

Recently, the global market research TNS and consultancy group Kantar Retail projected that the Philippines can expect the convenience store sector to grow further in the next three to four years as the country continues to experience economic stability.

The research firm indicated that the convenience sector will mirror the consumer landscape in the next few years as the country enjoys more economic development.

According to the report, the consumer landscape is changing. About 70 percent of the Philippines will be urbanized by next year. The cost of doing business has actually gone up so it makes more economical sense to look at smaller [store] formats.

Go owns the Prince Retail Group, which pioneered the creation of Sari-Sari Store owners organization through an annual sari-sari store convention that now has close to 50 thousand members in the Visayas and Mindanao.

Go, whose chain of stores spread in Southern Philippines area, has been providing friendly wholesale and retail mechanisms, including the availability of credit lines for members to help promote sari-sari store owners.

Family Mart, Lawson, and 7-11 have all revealed their plans of establishing more stores nationwide and this will make a great impact on the convenience store sector.

The report emphasized that traditional trade such as sari-sari stores will remain to be an important sector.

The research firm believes that sari-sari store sector will continue to remain relevant amid its decline in growth as it gets more organized.

According to the report, the growth of convenience store in the country will drive the sari-sari stores to compete by standardizing the products they would offer their target consumers.

Go said that while convenience stores will provide comfort, wider inventory options and even hang-out areas for younger consumers, the unique Filipino concept of "lista-lista" is also one of the important things that will help sari-sari store sector alive amid the modern retailing environment. — (FREEMAN)

CEBU CHAPTER FAMILY MART KANTAR RETAIL PHILIPPINE RETAILERS ASSOCIATION PRINCE RETAIL GROUP ROBERT GO SARI SARI-SARI STORE SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES STORE VISAYAS AND MINDANAO
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