(Source: By Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 18, 2015)
The maiden supermarket venture of the Ayala family and businessman Lucio Co – two of the country’s richest – is set to materialize as early as next month with the opening of its first branch in Quezon City.
Puregold Price Club Inc. president Leonardo B. Dayao told The STAR that Ayagold, the joint venture entity of Puregold and Ayala Land Inc. (ALI), is preparing to open its first supermarket by late June or early July this year.
Dayao said the first branch, situated in ALI’s UP Town Center, would have a selling area of between 2,500 and 3,000 square meters.
“We are still finalizing the brand and that will be disclosed soon,” Dayao said.
Aside from the Quezon City branch, Dayao said one more supermarket is being eyed for opening by the latter part of the year in another ALI-owned property.
Last year, ALI subsidiary Varejo Corp. and Puregold unit Estenso Equities Inc. signed a joint venture agreement “to develop and operate mid-market supermarkets for some of ALI’s new integrated and mixed-use developments.”
The new supermarket is expected to compete with grocery giant SM Retail Inc. of the Sy family.
Aside from the continuous growth of its Puregold and S&R stores this year, the Co-led retailer is also keen on expanding into new formats such as in the convenience store segment as well as its supermarket joint-venture with ALI.
Puregold together with its Japanese partner opened in the first quarter of the year the first Lawson convenience store in the country in Sta. Ana, Manila.
This year, Puregold has allotted P5.5 billion for the continued expansion of its businesses.
Of the total capital expenditure budget, P2.5 billion will be spent for the opening of 25 new Puregold stores, P1 billion for new S&R stores, P500 million for 50 to 100 Lawson branches, and P1.5 billion for possible acquisitions.
The firm said the capex would be funded by internally generated cash and short term untapped bank credit lines if necessary.