(Source: Manila Standard Today, by Jenniffer B. Austria | Aug. 31, 2015)
Conglomerate SM Investments Corp. plans to re-open newly acquired grocery chain Cherry Foodarama in October, a top executive said over the weekend.
SM Investment president Harley Sy said all three Chery Foodarama outlets would be opened to shoppers next month, in time for the fourth-quarter holiday spending.
SM Investments acquired Cherry Foodarama from the Ong family for an undisclosed amount in June this year. The three stores are currently under renovation.
SM Investments co-vice chairman Teresita Sy-Coson earlier said the company would not rebrand the three newly-acquired supermarkets and operate them under the name Cherry.
The Ong family, which owns Cherry Foodarama, will also retain a minority interest in the supermarket chain.
Cherry Foodarama has been in the business since the early 1950s and is considered one of the pioneers in the grocery business.
Prior to its acquisition by SM, only two Cherry supermarkets, including Cherry Foodarama Congressional and Cherry Foodarama Antipolo, were operational.
Cherry Foodarama Shaw was originally scheduled to reopen at its original site also along Shaw Boulevard in May, but it did not push through because of the entry of a new investor, which turned out to be the SM group.
All Cherry supermarkets were closed down on June 25 after it was acquired by SM Investments.
SM group remains the biggest supermarket chain in the country, despite the intensifying competition from other grocery chains such as Puregold Price Club Inc. of tycoon Lucio Co and Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. of the Gokongwei Group.
SM’s retail operations had a total of 289 stores of as end-June, including 51 SM Stores, 41 SM Supermarkets, 43 SM Hypermarkets, 127 Savemore stores and 27 WalterMart stores.
The conglomerate also teamed up with Alfamart Indonesia to venture into minimart space.
The joint venture partners are currently in the testing phase with 50 branches mostly located south of Metro Manila
SM group’s purchase of Cherry Foodarama marked its second acquisition in three years. In 2013, SM Investments signed a 50:50 joint venture with the Waltermart group through its subsidiaries SM Retail Inc. and SM Prime Holdings Inc.
SM Investments posted a net profit of P13.5 billion in the first half, up by 10 percent from a year ago, on higher earnings across its core property, banking and retailing businesses.
The company said excluding extraordinary items, recurring income rose 13 percent in the first half.
Retail accounted for 20 percent of SMIC’s consolidated net income.