(Source: Business World | November 22, 2015)
Visayan retail giant Metro Retail Stores Group, Inc. has struck a partnership with property behemoth Ayala Land, Inc. to become the anchor tenant in four of the latter’s shopping centers.
This come as Metro Retail is set to debut on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Tuesday after completing its up to P4-billion initial public offering that will fund its expansion program.
In a statement, the Gaisano-owned firm said it will introduce its retail formats in four Ayala commercial developments: Capitol Central in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental; The Shops at Atria in Mandurriao, Iloilo City; Central Bloc in Cebu City; and the Ayala Malls Feliz in Cainta, Rizal.
Metro Retail is bringing its department store and supermarket to Ayala Malls Capitol Central and Feliz. Ayala Malls Central Bloc and Shops at Atria, on the other hand, will feature the Gaisano’s supermarkets.
“Building strategic partnerships has been a hallmark of our unique growth trajectory, and we are proud to have cemented anew our partnership with one of the country’s leading developers,” Metro Retail Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frank S. Gaisano was quoted in the statement as saying.
The deals marked the latest partnership between the two companies.
In the past two decades, both firms have teamed up for Ayala Land’s projects, such as Metro Market! Market! in Taguig City, Marquee Mall in Pampanga, Alabang Town Center in Muntinlupa City, Metro Gaisano in Ayala Center Cebu, and Ayala North Point in Talisay City, Negros Occidental.
In 2013, the Gaisano clan’s Viscal Development Corp. took in Ayala Land as its partner for the development of a 12-hectare (ha) property in Mactan Island.
“Our shared ability to adjust our offerings to the needs of the communities we serve has enabled our partnership to grow,” ALI President and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Vincent O. Dy said.
Metro Retail has identified 30 sites for expansion across the Philippines in the next three years. Bulk of the new stores will be hypermarkets followed by department stores and supermarkets — up to 80% of them will be located in the Visayas, Metro Retail Vice-President for Business Development Joseph Conrad M. Balatbat had said.
Next year, Metro Retail plans to open at least seven new stores, with the intention to accelerate that to 10-12 stores by 2017, Mr. Balatbat had said.
The company operates 46 stores in key cities in the Visayas region, Central Luzon, National Capital Region, Calabarzon, and Bicol region. — Krista Angela M. Montealegre
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