More global retailers to enter Philippine market

by Cathy Rose A. Garcia,

Posted at Jan 26 2014 07:59 AM | Updated as of Jan 27 2014 09:06 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Filipino shoppers should expect a more vibrant retail scene in 2014, as more global brands are seen to enter the Philippine market.

Jan Custodio, head of CBRE Global Research & Consultancy, said many international brands continue to flock to the Philippines, encouraged by strong spending of Filipino consumers.

"Sustained high level of spending has fueled the growth of the retail sector. Mall developers have been expanding to accommodate the international brands coming in and the increase in spending of consumers in the country," he said in a recent briefing.

The retail sector is expected to continue to grow, with more than 242,000 square meters of gross leasable area to be available this year. This includes retail spaces in new malls such as Fisher Mall and Fairview Terraces in Quezon City; Century Mall in Makati; and The District and Unimart Capitol Commons in Pasig.

There is also high demand for retail spaces from Japanese brands. Of new global brands in the Philippines in the fourth quarter, CBRE said 59% were Japanese brands. US brands accounted for 17% of the share, followed by Australia (12%), Hong Kong (6%) and United Kingdom (6%).

At the soon-to-be-opened SM Mega Fashion Hall, several international retailers are also opening stores, such as US furniture chain Crate & Barrel and clothing brand Vero Moda. Sweden's fast fashion chain H&M is also set to open its first store in the second half of 2014.

With more choices, Custodio noted Filipino shoppers are becoming more discerning.

"As a result of the increased spending consumers have in a way become more sophisticated. Giving them more options and choices as to what commodities they can purchase has led developers to allot spaces for these new brands," he said.

Aside from malls, Custodio noted smaller retail formats such as district malls, supermarkets and convenience stores are expanding.

"Convenience stores have been expanding in the Visayas and Mindanao," he said.

Japanese convenience store chain FamilyMart opened in the Philippines last year, along with Hong Kong supermarket chain Wellcome.