Davao mall operator beefs up convenience store network

Subscribe Now September 21, 2015 at 07:55am

LTS Pinnacle Holdings Inc., operator of the New City Commercial Center (NCCC) chain of local shopping malls and supermarkets, is beefing up its convenience store network under the Choice Mart and HB1 brands.

Jojo N. Canda, LTS Pinnacle vice president for supermarkets, said they are aiming to open at least five convenience stores per year, with an average investment of P5 million per store.

“If we look at the picture of the retail landscape, it is changing, that is why we are looking forward to the future on how we can strive (with) the competition,” Mr. Canda said in an interview.

Listed firm Philippine Seven Corp. has ventured into Mindanao this year with a plan to open 120 7-Eleven outlets in the next three years, starting in the cities of Davao and Cagayan de Oro.

Davao Central Convenience Store, Inc., another homegrown company that pioneered the 24/7 neighborhood shops in Davao City and considered as the biggest chain in Mindanao, has also been expanding and refurbishing existing outlets.

“Consumers nowadays are getting busier like the working moms, they do not want to go the farther and bigger malls but instead go to small and nearby stores,” Mr. Canda said.

LTS Pinnacle opened a store in Tagum City, Davao del Norte this week, while another one is set to be inaugurated in Monkayo, Compostela Valley, both in the Davao Region.

“In terms of sales, if you add up all the small stores, these will give you volume,” Mr. Canda said.

The company has 7 Choice Mart grocery stores and 51 HB1 outlets that are smaller convenience shops with a pharmacy. These are located mainly in Davao City and some in other parts of the Davao Region and Palawan.

In an earlier interview, NCCC assistant vice president for marketing Tjader P. Regis said the convenience store operation contributes at least 10% to the group’s sales.

Meanwhile, NCCC is also building a new five-floor mall in Buhangin District, a mainly residential area in the northern part of Davao City.

LTS Pinnacle President Sharlene Faye A. Lim said they are spending about P1 billion for the new project that is targeted for completion by the fourth quarter of 2016.

Ms. Lim said they are aiming to bring in new tenants and brands not yet available in the city that will cater to their main market, the low-end segment.

“The design (of the mall) will still be masa (low-end market) because we don’t want to scare away our customers. We can’t really say that it’s classy but it will be more in terms of aesthetics and ambiance. We are masa and we don’t want to shy away from that,” said Althea D. Lucas, LTS Pinnacle associate vice president.

“It’s a small project but we will use different materials and offer something nice and different for Davao,” Ms. Lucas added.

After completing the Buhangin mall, the company is planning to renovate and expand its flagship NCCC Mall in Ma-a to make more space for restaurants and call centers.

“Even if many other malls (SM chain, Ayala Malls, and Gaisano of the Metro Retail Stores Group, Inc.) have opened here, we haven’t fallen short in our performance,” Ms. Lucas said in Filipino.

Source: bworldonline.com

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