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Philippine, Indonesian retail giants team up

Publication Date : 08-08-2014


Philippine retail giant SM Investment Corporation has tied up with Indonesia's leading retailer Alfamart to pursue its venture into the convenience store business.

SM Investments recently rolled out three "experiemental" convenience stores in partnership with and bearing the name of Alfamart, choosing high-density locations south of Manila: Trace Martires and Dasmarinas in Cavite and another in Las Pinas.

Each store has a floor area of 150 square metres and will eventually operate 24/7, said Joey Mendoza, president of SM Supermarkets and Savemore--members of the SM Group.

The whole thing is still experimental, which means the SM and Alfamart groups have yet to firm up their equity sharing in the venture. Mendoza said the two groups were still exploring the terms of the partnership.

Alfamart is one of Indonesia’s leading retailers, serving more than 2.5 million customers daily at its 7,000 stores and has about 70,000 employees in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.

Although SM is Philippines' biggest retailer, it is joining the local convenience store business only now. Two Japanese brands have recently come in—Lawson, in partnership with Puregold Price Club, SM’s stiffest rival in the grocery format, and Family Mart, in partnership with the Ayala and Tantoco groups.

The leading player in the convenience store business in the Philippines is Philippine Seven Corp, the local licensee of 7-Eleven convenience stores, with 1,121 stores, followed by Ministop, operated by the Gokongwei-led Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc., which expects to end this year with 500 stores.

What will distinguish the Alfamart chain from other competitors, Mendoza said, was that it would offer more fresh food like fruits and vegetables.


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