British retailer eyes PH for Asia expansion

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09:17 PM August 9th, 2013

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August 9th, 2013 09:17 PM

The executive adviser of Sainsbury’s, one of the biggest supermarket chains in the United Kingdom, is considering the Philippines as the next potential country for the company’s expansion plans in Asia.

In an interview with reporters, Sainsbury’s Ian F. Wade disclosed that he would be recommending to the company’s board that the Philippines “ought to be next on their list” after the planned expansion in China.

“I’ve been coming here [for the past] 26 years and I think your country is in the best shape that I ever remember, and I think your middle class is growing much more quickly than it has ever done before. The spending power is growing and [companies like] SM probably need some competition,” Wade explained.

Wade added that investors like Sainsbury’s were now looking at the Asian market as it has become the “biggest growth area in the world.” He added that a lot of countries in the world were in trouble “so this part of Asia is the place to be.”

If the interest in the Philippines will be pursued, the country will be the second Asian market to be considered by Sainsbury’s after China.

Wade did not disclose much details on the planned expansion in China, noting only that they were still negotiating with a partner and that they were hoping to seal the deal within the year.

Sainsbury’s operates more than 1,106 supermarkets and convenience stores in the United Kingdom. The company used to have a presence in the United States but it ran into some difficulties in the 1990s, prompting it to pull out, according to Wade.

Sainsbury’s is part of the J Sainsbury Plc, which also has businesses covering online groceries, property development, banking, energy and entertainment, data on the company’s website showed.

An average Sainsbury’s supermarket stocks approximately 30,000 products, around half of which are own label, and receives more than 18.5 million customers each week. Amy R. Remo

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