Posted on July 19, 2015 09:38:00 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
By Krista A. M. Montealegre, Senior Reporter
MULTI-format retailer Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. (RRHI) is expanding its community mall chain with a plan to open at least two Robinsons Townville every year through 2020, an official of the Gokongwei-led company said.
“We plan to open two a year [in the next five years],” RRHI President Robina Gokongwei-Pe told reporters last week.
Robinsons Supermarket Corp. General Manager Jody S. Gadia said RRHI is not discounting the possibility of rolling out as much as three to four strip malls every year.
Asked why RRHI is building more community malls, Ms. Gokongwei-Pe said: “Because of traffic.”
“There are many densely populated neighborhoods in the Philippines.
They don’t want to go out anymore....They want to find everything in their community,” she said.
Robinsons Townville is located near densely populated neighborhoods within and in the outskirts of Metro Manila.
Ranging from 5,000 square meters (sqms.) to 10,000 sqms., Robinsons Townville has Robinsons Supermarket as its anchor tenant.
The Gokongweis’ multi-format stores account for 60-70% of the community mall’s retail space. The balance is leased out to quick service restaurants and a few other establishments to complete the shopping experience of its customers.
RRHI ventured into community mall development three years ago but it was only this year when the company rebranded its malls to carry the Robinsons Townville brand, Mr. Gadia said. The company has a chain of nine community malls, which are different from malls under the Robinsons Galleria brand.
The listed retailer has six business segments: supermarkets; department stores; do-it-yourself (DIY) stores; convenience stores; drug stores; and specialty stores. Some of the brand names under RRHI include “Handyman Do it Best”, “True Value”, “Topshop”, “Topman”, “Toys “R” Us”, and “Ministop”.
Likewise, RRHI has forayed this year into e-commerce, a retail channel it said holds “a lot of potential.”
“We’re looking into it. Right now, we sell our appliances and consumer electronics via Lazada. That’s a start,” Ms. Gokongwei-Pe said.
This year will also mark the start of the rollout of British coffee chain Costa Coffee with plans to open in four more sites including Robinsons Place Manila, Bonifacio Global City, and a second location in Libis, Quezon City, she said.
Its wholly owned subsidiary Robinsons Gourmet Food and Beverage, Inc. last year inked an international distribution agreement for the operations of 70 Costa Coffee shops in the Philippines in the next five years.
Ms. Gokongwei-Pe had said in March it would allocate P6 billion this year for capital expenditures, higher than the P4 billion spent in 2014, to support store network expansion mostly outside the Philippine capital.
The retailer is adding 270-300 stores that will boost gross floor area in the mid-teens level and increase store count to close to 1,600 stores by the end of the year.