(Source: Philippine Tatler | May 22, 2018)
In a night of festive celebration, SM, the Philippines’ largest retail chain, commemorated 60 years of existence with a vibrant fashion show and a striking performance. SM also announced a host of special surprises for shoppers from May to October in their malls nationwide.
Last night’s party kicked off the six-month long anniversary celebration. Tessie Sy Coson led the way with a stirring speech to express the company’s gratitude for all the support they’ve received throughout the years. After that, a fashion show featuring SM’s fashionable house brands took over the stage, showcasing the latest trends for women, men, and children. Then, Bituin Escalante, Frenchie Dy, and Radha gave a show-stopping performance for the guests’ entertainment. And finally, the time came for the toast, which capped off 60 years of history and signified the beginning of a new chapter for the company.
A storied history
SM’s path to becoming one of the Philippines’ largest companies started with the dream of one Henry Sy Sr., who thought that if he could sell a pair of shoes to every Filipino, he could be a successful man. In 1958, Sy opened the first Shoemart store in downtown Manila, introducing exciting new merchandising and retailing concepts.
In the 1960s, Shoemart expanded its shoe store chain and became one of the pioneers in the new urban centers in Makati and Cubao.
In the seventies, Shoemart evolved into a department store, becoming SM, which has been synonymous with one-stop shopping experience. SM positioned itself for growth in the 1980s, expanding its department store chain and venturing in the supermarket and appliance business.
1985 saw the opening of the first SM shopping center, SM City North EDSA. It was a time of major political and economic crisis, but the mall was an instant hit, paving the way for the so-called malling phenomenon in the Philippines.
Aside from retail operations, SM has expanded its reach to other aspects. Through its property arm, SM Prime Holdings, SM has also become a leading developer of residential condominiums in Metro Manila. Through SM Hotels and Conventions, the company now owns and operates world class hotels, a state of the art arena, convention and exhibition centers, and premier beach and mountain resorts.
In the finance area, the acquisition of Banco de Oro in the 1980s enabled SM to provide better cash management services to its suppliers and retail banking services to its customers. Today, as the country’s largest bank in terms of resources, deposits, and loans, BDO has made finance inclusive for millions of Filipinos.
Through SM Foundation, SM reaches out to communities with its educational, health, and livelihood training programs aimed at making farmers self-sufficient. Through SM Cares, SM has undertaken environmental programmes by building green spaces in its malls, as well as sustainability efforts, trash to cash recycling, and disaster risk reduction programs. It has also make going around the malls easier for those with difficulties through PWD program.
Today, SM has close to a thousand retail stores, and 70 malls in the Philippines, and seven malls in China.
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