SaveMore sets expansion
The SM group’s neighborhood grocery retail format SaveMore expects to breach the 100-store milestone and venture to Visayas and Mindanao by next year.
SaveMore, which has 88 stores, plans to open 10 more stores this year and add another 20 to 25 next year, SaveMore and SM Supermarkets president Joey Mendoza said on Friday.
The retailer unveiled on Friday a partnership with China Bank Savings to help fasttrack the thrift bank’s nationwide expansion program through the establishment of minibranches in SaveMore stores.
Among SM Retail’s various grocery formats, Mendoza said SaveMore was the fastest-growing in terms of turnover and geographical footprint because it’s more flexible in terms of size.
Net selling area can be as low as 2,000 square meters to as high as 5,000 sq m, Mendoza said.
On the other hand, he said SM Hypermarkets require a larger space while SM Supermarkets are typically located inside SM malls.
SaveMore is showing a positive trajectory of revenue and same-store sales growth, Mendoza said.
On revenues, Mendoza said: “We’re now doing double-digit growth and we hope to sustain that.”
Same-store growth rate for the full year is seen at a “high single-digit” level, he said.
As another indicator of growth, sales turnover per square meter was improving, Mendoza said.
“It’s not a fantastic improvement but it’s incremental,” he said.
SaveMore is also mapping out an expansion strategy outside Metro Manila.
“It’s more and more difficult to get space in Metro Manila so we’re going outside towards other parts of Luzon—Central and north Luzon, then we’re going to Visayas and Mindanao next year,” he said.
Meanwhile, CBS has inaugurated minibranches in SaveMore stores in Araneta Center, Anonas, Pedro Gil and Nepa Q-Mart.
A total of 16 minibranches are expected to open this year and reach a total of 30 by next year, accounting for about 30 percent of the distribution channels planned to be set up by CBS by 2014.
A traditional branch costs CBS about P8 million to build while a minibranch—with a smaller footprint and headcount—is estimated to cost only a fifth of the usual capital outlay.
Each CBS minibranch has 15-17 sq m in office space manned by three personnel, including one teller. It has an ATM machine, an online banking kiosk, a night depository facility for SaveMore tenants and is operational even on weekends. Doris C. Dumlao