Enriching communities through shared vision, partnership
Grocery items and home essentials have proven to be the most indispensable to many households this year. A trip to the supermarket has become a key activity for every family as a means to stock up on daily needs while being quarantined at home. While this consumer behavior meant good business for supermarkets like S&R Membership Shopping (S&R), the pandemic also led the company to re- examine their operations in light of new safety protocols and COVID-19’s economic effects.
The upside to being a big box store like S&R, according to president Anthony Sy, is that their stores are located in communities that continued to buzz with economic activity despite the lull experienced during the first half of the year. “We are very particular about where we place our stores. Proximity to our target market, traffic accessibility, and visibility from major thoroughfares are all important considerations when we pick a new spot. These factors worked to our advantage, as well as the size of our stores,” Sy shares.
With location as a main priority for S&R, it is no surprise that they have chosen to set up shop in Ayala Land Inc.’s (ALI) master-planned estates. S&R stores in Bonifacio Global City, Nuvali, and Circuit Makati all fulfilled S&R’s requirements and provided them with a strategic cushion from the pandemic’s effect on businesses.
ALI’s master-planned communities immediately put S&R in the middle of households who needed constant replenishment of essentials. S&R also proved to be an attractive destination, given the spacious aisles that facilitated social distancing. The live-work-play integration of ALI communities also meant that S&R is able to serve not only homeowners and their families, but also employees and other individuals who frequent ALI’s estates.
Sy stresses that while this set-up has been truly helpful during the pandemic, their partnership with ALI is more strongly built on an established relationship grounded on respect and mutual aim for each other’s success. Sy expounds on their ALI partnership, “The benefit of locating in a master-planned community is that you can set your expectations based on the development proceeding as planned. This typically works out to be in the best interest of all businesses. A well thought out plan and an organized community tends to generate more traffic and interest from the public.”
Setting up for what’s next
Cris Zuluaga, assistant vice president of Ayala Land Estates, echoes S&R’s sentiment on their partnership. “Big box supermarket retailers like S&R are very strong assets to our mixed-use communities because they provide a service to consumers that is inherently and consistently essential. We value the trust of locators like S&R who see our estates as long-term, solid investments that help them achieve their business goals and expand.”
Based on the latest industry report by Colliers, the economic uncertainty still looming amid the pandemic will see consumers focusing their spending on essentials such as medicine, groceries, and food and beverage. This means that retailers like S&R will continue to be in-demand and will benefit from locations that span both the centers of activity (like BGC and Circuit Makati) and new growth areas (like Nuvali).
Recent insights from Leechiu Property Consultants also point to a growing trend of movement outwards of Manila, where properties in Cavite, Bulacan, and Pampanga will experience fresh demand as the public.
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