Mushrooming 24/7 stores threaten sari-sari retailers
Ehda Dagooc (The Freeman) - August 3, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines – The upbeat growth of convenience store chains in the country throws a challenge for sari-sari stores to improve their businesses or else they will get knocked down by competition.

Convenience store chain executive Eduardo N. Paredes said that the retail market has evolved into and is now dominated by stores offering basic products on a 24/7 on-the-go service. He added that existing sari-sari stores should learn to adopt and capitalize on this development.

The entry of global players as well as local conglomerates in the convenience store industry actually has a positive effect towards small sari-sari store owners if they are able to take advantage of the opportunity ahead, said Paredes who is also the general manager for  Philippine Family Mart CVS Inc.

Home-based entrepreneurship particularly the sari-sari store concept may be affected by the strong inflow of convenience store investments across the Philippines, but this business is still seen to survive, said Philippine Retailers Association (PRA-Cebu Chapter) president Robert Go.

Go said the  business of sari-sari store may shrink mostly in the urban areas, but it will still thrive in the barangays and rural areas.

Go, who owns the Prince Retail Group, pioneered the creation of Sari-Sari Store owners organization through holding the annual sari-sari store convention. The group 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.

"Maybe some sari-sari store owners especially in the urban areas will be much affected by the entry of more convenience stores in the community neighborhood," said Go in an interview.

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

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.

CEBU CHAPTER CONVENIENCE EDUARDO N FAMILY MART PHILIPPINE FAMILY MART PHILIPPINE RETAILERS ASSOCIATION PRINCE RETAIL GROUP ROBERT GO SARI SARI-SARI STORE STORE
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