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Ô| The Philippine retail market is well developed compared to other southeast Asian
countries (Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, for example). The share of processed and
packaged food sold in retail outlets was estimated at over 60 percent in 2003 (Reardon et
al., 2003). There has been growth in the number of retail food outlets and fast food
outlets in the Philippines in the past 15 years (Elsevier, 2005). Despite this growth, sales
of fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, and fish are still largest in small locally owned
convenience stores and wet markets (true in NCR and countryside regions alike)
(Elsevier, 2005).The leading retail chains and convenience store chains in the Philippines
are Filipino owned and are mostly concentrated in the NCR region. Table 5 provides an
overview of the leading retail and convenience chains, ownership, sales, outlets, and their
locations.

Supermarkets are big business in the country. An industry report cited that there are about 5,000
supermarkets in the country in 2007 with estimated sales of over P100 billion.

A supermarket is a self-service store offering a wide array of food and non-food items, which are
organized into departments. It is a retail format that is bigger than a grocery store and it has from
three to 25 counters. A variation of a supermarket is a hypermarket, which is larger in size and
usually combined with a department store. A hypermarket has more than 25 counters and sells
both wet and dry goods.


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‘| Vrocers could potentially enter into the retail side.
‘| Entry barriers are relatively high, as Wal-Mart has an
outstanding distribution systems, locations, brand name, and
financial capital to fend off competitors.
‘| Wal-mart often has an absolute cost advantage over other
competitors.
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Over the past two decades, the Philippine economy witnessed radical changes in its policies from
monopolies, cronyism, and excessive government intervention under Marcos to more liberalized
markets under Aquino and Ramos (Vonzales, 1999). During the Marcos era, the main economic
policy toward industrialization was import substitution. However, its success rate was low as traders
experienced high tariffs, quotas, and an overvalued exchange rate. The government became
dependent on regulatory controls, public enterprise, investment incentives, and trade restrictions. The
goal of the government to undergo industrial development resulted into the concentration of
industries, sheltered domestic markets, and distorted price signals (Patalinghug, 1997).
Xnder the Aquino administration in 1986, most of the unfavorable economic policies were removed.
It was during this regime that foreign investment liberalization laws, such as the Foreign Investment
Act of 1991, were implemented. However, although there were a number of policy reforms, the
implementation was highly constrained by the lack of adequate financial resources.
During the Ramos administration starting 1992, the policy of less government intervention was
sustained. To promote competition and efficiency, the foreign exchange
Ô| R 
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‘| Currently, there are three main incumbent companies that
exist in the same market as Wal-Mart: Sears, K Mart, and
Target. Target is the strongest of the three in relation to
retail.
‘| Target has experienced tremendous growth in their domestic
markets and have defined their niche quite effectively.
‘| Sears and K-Mart seem to be drifting and have not
challenged K-Mart in sometime.
‘| Mature industry life cycle.

Ô| The top three supermarkets in the country are SM Supermarket, Robinsons Supermarket
and Rustan Supermarket. These three accounted for 71% of the gross revenues of the
leading supermarkets in 2006 as listed in the Philippines' Top 1000 Corporations.

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Ô| Source: Company websites.

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The largest supermarket chain in the country is SM Supermarket, which is operated by


Supervalue Inc. Supervalue Inc. is part of the SM group of companies which is involved in
retailing, banking, real estate, among others. The very first SM Supermarket was established in
1985 in SM City North Edsa. Today, there are about 23 supermarkets which can be found in
strategic locations in Metro Manila and in key cities outside Manila.

SM also operates SM Hypermarket which first opened in Sucat, Parañaque in 2001. SM


Hypermarkets offer food, fresh and frozen items as well as general merchandise products. The
number of branches has since grown to 11.

SM likewise runs a chain of SaveMore supermarkets. SaveMore branches are neighborhood


stand alone stores unlike the usual SM supermarkets and hypermarkets which are found inside
SM malls. SaveMore offers the convenience of a first-rate indoor wet market, food and general
merchandise store. It caters mainly to households with budgetary constraints by offering lower-
priced items under SM's private label, Bonus. Since its establishment in 1999, there are now 8
branches in the country.

According to an industry report, supermarket sales including hypermarket sales account for more
than half of SM's retail sales.

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MAKRO stores are set up to allow customers to conveniently find what they need. It is divided
into Food (Fresh / Dry Food) and Dry Voods departments along spacious aisles. The Food
department is made up of a variety of Dry Foods and Fresh produce. The Dry Voods department
features an extensive assortment of appliances, audio and video equipment, house and office
furniture, office supplies and do-it-yourself products. MAKRO has its own product line of high
quality Food and Dry Voods product that are more affordably priced. ARO and SAVEPAK are
made up of high quality household durable and consumable goods. Q-BIZ offers excellent
stationery products and office supplies. ARO and SAVEPAK product managers source
consumables that provide high quality and better value for money. Currently around 485 articles
are registered under ARO and SAVEPAK trademark among them are fresh produce and dry
foods that are canned or packed from frozen foods to detergents and pet foods.
Makro is committed to providing customers with a steady supply of food and dry goods products
with the highest quality at the best price. For our dry foods and fresh produce, our supplies come
straight from the farms, plantations and manufacturing facilities everyday. Working closely with
our suppliers, guiding them with Marko¶s strict standards, they have improved on their processes
and quality assurance. We assure our farmers and growers of their income by committing the
whole harvest while providing the logistics to transport the produce at the quickest possible time.
When you buy food item from us, they¶re as fresh as they were harvested.

One of the largest chains of supermarkets in the country is Robinsons Supermarket Corporation
(RSC). It belongs to the JV Summit Holdings Inc.'s Robinsons Retail Vroup, which operates
Robinsons Department Store, Handyman Do It Best Center, Robinsons Appliances, Top Shop,
Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Toys R Xs, and True Value.

The first Robinsons Supermarket opened in Cebu in 1985. There are now 32 branches in various
parts of the country.

Robinsons Land Corp., the developer of 10 Robinsons shopping malls and Big R and Hypermart
supermarkets, is investing P3 billion to P4 billion in building seven new shopping malls within
the next 18 months.

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‘| The individual buyer has little to no pressure on Wal-Mart.
‘| Consumer advocate groups have complained about Wal-
Mart¶s pricing techniques.
‘| Consumer could shop at a competitor who offers comparable
products at comparable prices, but the convenience is lost.

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Some supermarkets have also extended store hours to provide customers with longer time
shopping time. During weekends, some supermarkets also open earlier than usual.



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Supermarkets carry a wide array of products from food (fresh, packaged, canned) to non-food
items (household, personal care, etc.). Some formats (e.g. hypermarket, warehouse clubs) also
carry general merchandise (e.g. clothes, school supplies, etc.) and home appliances. The products
are sourced from local producers, traders and importers. Some supermarkets like Rustan's
directly import some of its products.

The large supermarkets also have their own private label products such as SM's Bonus, Rustan's
Sure Buy, Shopwise's Save Big and Robinson's Supersavers. Some also offer exclusive or unique
items to entice customers.

The intensifying competition in the market will also spur supermarkets to pursue more creative
approaches. Many supermarkets now offer value-added products and services such as bills
payment, courier services, photo developing, ticketing, cell card counters, among others. Further,
on-line grocering has been implemented for some time by large supermarkets but they have
stopped the service.

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The growing competition within the convenience food industry has important consequences for the
agricultural sector. First, the industry has become a lucrative market for agriculture. However, certain
conditions must be satisfied. For instance, because of stiff competition the players in the food
industry must be ensured of quality and freshness of raw materials. Also, they must tie-up with
reliable suppliers of raw materials for smooth operations.
Atomistic farmers and wholesalers are the primary sources of vegetable and fruits by the retailers.
However, due to the geographical characteristics of the Philippines, distribution of these goods has
become costly. This situation is further complicated by the poor infrastructure facilities, primitive sea
and air transportation systems, and the lack of a grading system for these goods. Due to these
inadequacies in the distributional system, trading between buyers and sellers has been greatly
constrained (PASI, 1995). In addition, grading system is sometimes based on subjective judgment of
size, quality, and variety, rather than on well-defined and objective standards (Lantican, ., 1996).
Altogether, these have limited the integration of markets and have provided an environment that is
conducive to exercising buying power among the wholesalers, food processors and retailers directly
buying from primary producers.
Farmers usually receive lower prices due to the agriculture products¶ high perishability and the lack
of adequate infrastructure facilities in the country. They have lost their bargaining power, which on
the other hand is being enjoyed by the retailers and
7
wholesalers who have the resources and better knowledge of the market situation. However, this
advantage of both retailers and wholesalers are not absolute, for they are deprived of such power
when they are into processed goods.
½
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In some cases, the agriculture sector has limited carrying capacity to provide the industry¶s bulk
requirements. In turn, many agricultural raw materials and ingredients have to be imported. These
include beef, potato, cheese and other dairy products (Palma, 2005). In particular, the local livestock
sector cannot provide enough beef supply. On the other hand, local potatoes do not meet the quality
required for production of French fries, a major food item in the fast food industry.
In a more recent study, Macabasco (2004) pointed out two essential attributes that make imported
vegetables more attractive to the institutional markets and the supermarkets who cater to the high-end
consumer markets. First, imported vegetables are cheaper by 30% to 50% compared to some of the
locally produced ones. Second, they are better packed and generally of better quality. In turn,
importations of vegetables have grown sevenfold since 1996 to 2002.
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Over the past two decades, the Philippine economy witnessed radical changes in its policies from
monopolies, cronyism, and excessive government intervention under Marcos to more liberalized
markets under Aquino and Ramos (Vonzales, 1999). During the Marcos era, the main economic
policy toward industrialization was import substitution. However, its success rate was low as traders
experienced high tariffs, quotas, and an overvalued exchange rate. The government became
dependent on regulatory controls, public enterprise, investment incentives, and trade restrictions. The
goal of the government to undergo industrial development resulted into the concentration of
industries, sheltered domestic markets, and distorted price signals (Patalinghug, 1997).
Xnder the Aquino administration in 1986, most of the unfavorable economic policies were removed.
It was during this regime that foreign investment liberalization laws, such as the Foreign Investment
Act of 1991, were implemented. However, although there were a number of policy reforms, the
implementation was highly constrained by the lack of adequate financial resources.
During the Ramos administration starting 1992, the policy of less government intervention was
sustained. To promote competition and efficiency, the foreign exchange
3


 
Ô| ) (
‘| When it comes to this market, there are not many substitutes
that offer convenience and low pricing.
‘| The customer has the choice of going to many specialty
stores to get their desired products but are not going to find
Wal-Mart¶s low pricing.
‘| Online shopping proves another alternative because it is so
different and the customer can gain price advantages because
the company does not necessarily have to have a brick and
mortar store, passing the savings onto the consumer.
Ô| Specialized stores meatshops
Ô| Wet markets
Ô| c  G  0 !"cG0 
Ô| On October 26, 1982, Philippine Seven Corp. (PSC) acquired the license agreement to
use the 7-Eleven Convenience Store system in the entire Philippines from Southland
Corporation of Dallas, Texas. After a month, PSC was registered with SEC on 29
November 1982. The incorporators were Jose T. Pardo, Vicente T. Paterno and Francisco
R. Sibal. The company¶s chief mission was to introduce an entirely new retailing concept
to the Filipino consumers, i.e. operating a chain of 24-hours convenience stores. The first
corporate office was located at the ninth floor of the Century Tower building in Salcedo
Village, Makati City.
Ô| In July 1988, PSC transferred the Philippine area license to operate 7-Eleven stores to its
affiliate, Philippine Seven Properties Corporation ("PSPC"), together with some of its
store properties. In exchange thereof, PSC received 47% of PSPC stock as payment.
Concurrent with the transfer, PSC entered into a sublicensing agreement with PSPC to
operate 7-Eleven stores in Metro Manila and suburbs. As part of PSPC's main business, it
acquired or leased commercial properties and constructed retail store buildings, leasing
the buildings to PSC on long term basis together with most of the capital equipment used
for store operations. Hence, PSC concentrated on managing its stores and effectively took
the role of a pure retailer.
Ô| 7-Eleven today is focused on redefining and enhancing convenience through strategic
initiatives designed to take advance of new technologies and merchandising processes,
but which remain based on the fundamental principle of the simple business concept it
pioneered over 70 years ago - to provide customers an ever changing selection of quality
products and services at fair everyday prices, through speedy transactions in a clean, safe
and friendly environment.
Ô| Binggo stores to boost PSC sales
Ô| Philippine Seven Corp., the local franchise holder of 7-Eleven Stores, expects a boost in
annual revenue of up to P557 million from its acquisition of 39 Binggo 24-hour
convenience stores from rival Jollimart Philippines Corp. Of the 39 Binggo stores, 35
will be converted into 7-Eleven Stores, Philippine Seven told the stock exchange. It is to
buy the Binggo stores for P130 million, using funds from existing and approved credit
line facilities. ³The total purchase price considered ... the sales potential of the stores over
a period of 10 years,´ Philippine Seven told the stock exchange, providing additional
details on the transaction that was disclosed last week. Jollimart, a local company formed
on June 29, 1999 to trade food, canned goods and other items on wholesale and retail
basis, has signed a sale and purchase agreement with Philippine Seven. Philippine Seven
said it has no material relationship with Jollimart, its directors and officers, or any of its
affiliates. Philippine Seven booked a full-year 2003 net profit of P9.3 million, turning
around from losses in the previous three years.
Ô|

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Another leading supermarket in the country is Rustan Supermarket, which is now operated by
Rustan Supercenters Inc. after it assumed the management and operations of Rustan
Supermarkets Inc. in 2006. Rustan Supercenter also operates the chain of Shopwise supercenters,
the premier supercenter in the country which offers fresh goods, groceries, clothes, toys, home
items, all under one roof. Rustan Supercenter is a division of Rustan Commercial Corporation
(RCC), a member of the Rustan Vroup of Companies, which is into the business of department
stores and food, specifically, coffee shops, being the local franchisee of Starbucks Coffee.

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