(Source: By Jenniffer B. Austria | Manila Standard Today | Jun. 08, 2015)
The group of tycoon Henry Sr. has acquired supermarket chain Cherry Foodarama, considered one of the pioneers in the domestic retail industry, in a move that is expected to further strengthen the conglomerate’s leading position in the business.
Informed sources said the Sy Group acquired three supermarkets under the Cherry Foodarama chain located in Congressional Avenue in Quezon City, Marcos Highway in Antipolo, and Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City for an undisclosed amount.
Officials from Sy-led SM Prime Holdings Inc. and SM Investments Corp. did not immediately respond when asked for confirmation about the deal.
Only two Cherry supermarkets, namely Cherry Foodarama Congressional and Cherry Foodarama Antipolo, are operational. Cherry Foodarama Shaw was originally rescheduled to reopen at its original site along Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong last month but this did not push through reportedly because of the entry of a new investor.
Employees interviewed by The Standard at Cherry Foodarama, Congressional Avenue branch and Cherry Foodarama Antipolo outlet said they were informed by the management last week that the supermarket chain had been acquired by the SM Group and that the existing stores would be closed down by June 25.
The employees were not informed if they would be retained by the new owners and when would the stores be reopened.
Cherry Foodarama, owned by the Ong family, in January celebrated its 62nd anniversary. The supermarket chain has been known to offer Filipino consumers low prices of local and imported brands and food items.
SM group’s purchase of Cherry Foodarama would mark the second acquisition of a major local chain.
SM Investments in 2013 signed a joint venture agreement with the Waltermart group through its units SM Retail Inc. and SM Prime Holdings Inc.
SM’s retail operations as of end March 2015 had a total of 279 stores, comprising 50 The SM Stores, 40 SM Supermarkets, 43 SM Hypermarkets, 120 Savemore stores and 26 WalterMart stores.