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Franchising scheme readied for FamilyMart chain

Posted on April 22, 2013 10:34:35 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
LOCAL FRANCHISING of FamilyMart -- the Japanese convenience store brand brought into the country by Ayala Land, Inc. and Rustan Group -- could start by early next year, a top official of the chain’s Philippine operator told reporters yesterday.
“The first 40 (FamilyMart stores) will all be company-owned. As we move along, we assume that 60% of our stores will be company-owned, and 40% will be franchises. We will be ready with our franchising model hopefully… by the end of this year or start of next year,” Anthony T. Huang, president of local FamilyMart operator Philippine FamilyMart CVS, Inc., said in a briefing at The Peninsula Manila in Makati City yesterday.
“There lot of inquiries for franchising opportunities,” Mr. Huang noted.
“That, however, will require separate dedicated management to support day-to-day operations. Since we are at the start-up phase, we are unable to look at that in greater detail at this time. At this stage, we have yet to sort out the final details.”
Formed in 1981, FamilyMart is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, according to its Web site.
In November last year, Philippine FamilyMart CVS parent SIAL CVS Retailers, Inc. -- a partnership between Varejo Corp. and Specialty Investments, Inc., wholly owned units of Ayala Land and Rustan-led Store Specialists, Inc. (SSI), respectively -- signed a shareholders agreement with Japanese firms FamilyMart Co. Ltd. and Itochu Corp. for development and operation rights for FamilyMart stores in the country.
The first FamilyMart store in the Philippines opened last April 7 in Glorietta 3, Ayala Center in Makati City, with the next seven branches this year to open in the cities of Makati, Pasay, Pasig, and Quezon, Philippine FamilyMart CVS said in a statement yesterday.
“Our stores will be located in high-density areas… so we are targeting very high growth areas in Metro Manila such as schools, retail centers and transportation hubs,” Maria Corazon G. Dizon, Ayala Land vice-president and head, Business Development and Strategic Planning, Commercial Business Group, said in the same briefing.
Ayala Land was organized in 1988 when conglomerate Ayala Corp. spun off its real estate division into an independent unit.
On the other hand, SSI -- founded by husband and wife Bienvenido R. Tantoco and Gliceria Rustia -- currently has a fashion portfolio of 80 brands such as Zara, Calvin Klein, Cartier, Burberry, Marks & Spencer, Prada, and over 512 stores as of end-2012, Mr. Huang said.
Mr. Huang, who is also SSI executive vice-president, said SSI is set to introduce Brooks Brothers, an American apparel brand, within the year.
“Brooks Brothers is opening toward the middle of this year. I think for this year, we are looking at three stores in Rockwell (Center), Bonifacio High Street, and Shangri-La mall. Over the next few years, we should have five or six (stores),” Mr. Huang said in a separate interview.
“It’s a classic offering which appeals to the Filipino male consumer,” he added, noting that “American brands do very well in the Philippines.”
Shares of listed Ayala Land added 80 centavos or 2.53% to P32.45 apiece yesterday from P31.65 each on Friday last week. -- Franz Jonathan G. de la Fuente
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