(Source: The Philippine Star, by Iris C. Gonzales | July 28, 2015)
Merkado Supermarket, a joint venture between Ayala Land Inc. and Puregold Price Club Inc., will open its first branch at the UP Town Center along Katipunan, Quezon City on July 31.
The 50-50 partnership marks ALI’s entry into the supermarket space.
It will cater to the middle income segment, offering a wide range of fresh and grocery items, an extensive line of local and imported goods and featured product lines from its own bakery and rotisserie.
The group is looking to open eight to 10 Merkado Supermarkets in about five years after the opening of the maiden branch this Friday.
Ayala Land said the supermarket venture plays a significant role in its retailing business.
“Merkado Supermarket plays a significant role in ALI’s business portfolio. Not only does this strengthen and expand our retailing which started with our convenience and department stores joint ventures but is also a testament to our commitment in delivering a holistic environment,” Ayala Land vice president Maria Corazon Dizon said.
For Puregold, which currently has a chain of stand-alone stores, Merkado Supermarket is seen expanding its market.
“With the mall-based Merkado Supermarket, this will enable us to tap a broader market. In the case of U.P. Town Center, this could range from students to young professionals and young families,” AyaGold Retailers president Anthony Sy said.
AyaGold Retailers general manager Cesar “Arvi” Cudala said the supermarket would cater to the A, B and broader C markets.
Cudala said Merkado would offer spacious aisles that are easy to reach and navigate as well as prices that would be competitive with other major supermarkets such as Landmark and SM Supermarkets.
There would also be weekend promotions for the opening weekend, he said.
For instance, buyers would be treated to a free item for every purchase worth P1,000.
Ayala Land officials said AyaGold are also eyeing smaller Merkado Supermarket formats.
“There’s always the possibility of looking at different possibilities of smaller formats. It will depend on the opportunities,” Sy said.