(Source: Inquirer.net | 22 May 2017)
From the onset, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez has put micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) at the front and center of his advocacies as head of the department.
But when you’re advocating for the demographic that accounts for nearly all, or 99.6 percent, of firms in the country, it may be quite difficult to grasp where to start.
While some ambitions may seem grander than this, Lopez is focusing on an initiative called Go Lokal, partnering with the most popular malls in the country in a bid to convince these retail giants to save retail space for MSMEs for free.
These Go Lokal stores can now be found in two malls—SM Makati and Robinsons Ermita.
There is also a Go Lokal store at Enchanted Kingdom’s Pugad souvenir shop.
Lopez said he plans to set up at least eight stores this year.
“We are after the high foot traffic. Imagine if we couldn’t give this. When would they be discovered? In trade fairs? There are only a few days scheduled for a trade fair, while this is every day,” he said in a recent interview.
He said this on the sidelines of the first Go Lokal launch under the SM Group’s Kultura.
Lopez said most, if not all, of Go Lokal products feature an indigenous and yet modern design that can be found in home decor and arts and crafts.
The product range also covers health and wellness products as well as fashion apparel and accessories.
The store in Makati, Lopez said, features products from as many as 30 suppliers.
He could not provide offhand the total number of MSME suppliers, since some of them are also present in the Go Lokal store in Robinsons.
Products that don’t sell well get removed from the shelves, which Lopez said could be good for suppliers to test the marketability of their output.
Who gets the exposure, however, is still in the hands of the retailer.
“We present to them the products and the suppliers, and then they choose depending on their reading of the market in that mall branch,” he explained.
Eventually, each supplier, or at least each product, needs to graduate from the initiative, which means that either the retail outlet assimilates the product or the supplier sets up his own outlet.
“After the exposure of maybe two months, we’ll try to look for new products to give chance to others who are just as deserving,” said Lopez.
Although the DTI and the MSME suppliers don’t pay anything for this, the Go Lokal program remains beneficial for all players.
The retail owner discovers new products that otherwise remain obscure because of capital restraints, the supplier gets exposure, and DTI gets to pursue its advocacy of MSME development.
— Roy Stephen C. Canivel
Read more: http://business.inquirer.net/229968/support-go-lokal-filipinos-urged#ixzz4i0k1bcej