(Source: Business World | 26 July 2016)
Metro Retail Stores Group, Inc. (MRSGI) is expanding its foothold in the Visayas with the establishment of a hypermarket in Negros Oriental in line with a plan to double its footprint within five years.
The Cebu-based multi-format retailer inked a 25-year agreement for the lease of a building owned by the local government of Bais, Negros Oriental, the Gaisano-owned firm said in a disclosure to the stock exchange on Monday.
“We are looking to open a two-storey hypermarket in Negros. We are still finalizing the design and actual size,” MRSGI Vice-President for Business Development Joseph Conrad M. Balatbat said in mobile phone message. The store will open in 2017.
Located 45 kilometers away from Dumaguete City, Bais hosts several sugar mills and is one of Negros Occidental’s largest producers of raw sugar. The new hypermarket will cater to the neighboring municipalities of Manjuyod, Mabinay, Ayungon, Bindoy, and Tayasan.
“We are very much excited to serve the growing city of Bais, and we see a lot of opportunities for mutual growth,” MRSGI Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frank S. Gaisano was quoted in the statement as saying.
MRSGI operates 49 stores across the supermarket, department store, and hypermarket formats in key cities in Central, Western and Eastern Visayas, as well as in Central Luzon, Metro Manila, and South Luzon.
The retailer is targeting to double its footprint from 400,000 square meters (sq.m.) by 2020, translating to the opening of additional 50 to 70 stores, Mr. Balatbat said in November.
MRSGI is the Visayas’ latest department store and hypermarket operator, and second-largest operator in 2014 in terms of retail sales value, according to London-based market research firm Euromonitor International Ltd. The company is also Cebu’s largest retailer across all three store formats in terms of retail value in the same year.
MRSGI saw an annual 69.2% jump in net profit of P52.8 million in the first quarter of 2016, driven by the 7.4% increase in same-store sales and 9.7% uptick in all-store net sales.
Shares in MRSGI added 27 centavos or 5.29% to close at P5.37 each on Monday.
— By Krista Angela M. Montealegre