Ayala Land starts using Wellworth brand

By VG Cabuag, BusinessMirror

Posted at Mar 03 2014 07:50 AM | Updated as of Mar 03 2014 03:50 PM

MANILA - Property developer Ayala Land Inc. will use the Wellworth department store brand, a joint venture with the Rustan’s group, in its new malls to compete with those of the SM Group and Robinsons Land Corp., both of which operate their own retail stores within their facilities.

Bobby Dy, the company’s chief operating officer, said for the year, Ayala Land will establish up to four Wellworth department stores this year.

The company will further expand the brand in the next five years depending on its developments.

Ayala Land has opened the first Wellworth in its newest shopping mall called Fairview Terraces on Friday.

It may open another at the UP Town Center inside the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman, Quezon City, in one its developments in Iloilo and in Solenad in Nuvali in Laguna later in the year.

“We want to continue to expand the brand. Wellworth will be in our mixed-use developments. The number will depend on our new acquisitions,” Dy said, adding that there may be a department store within its office developments so it can use its space efficiently.

He said the actual size of the Wellworth retail space will depend on the place, but it may vary between 10,000 square meters to about 30,000 sq m.

Ayala is already a latecomer in the low-margin department store segment. Its closest competitors have been using this concept in their malls.

Prior to the Fairview mall, anchor department store tenants at Ayala malls include Landmark for Makati City and TriNoma malls in Quezon City, and Gaisano in Market! Market! in Taguig.

Ayala Land is doing away with such strategy and has entered a 50-50 venture with the Rustan’s group for its department store segment, which, the company said, would serve the higher-end of the market.

Ayala Land last week opened its newest mall in Fairview, Quezon City, which forms part of a P5-billion, 5.8-hectare mixed-use development.

The mall offers close to 70,000 sq m of retail space and some 10,000 sq m of office space mainly for the business- process outsourcing sector. The office spaces called Fairview Terraces Corporate Center will open by the middle of the year.

The company earlier said it will f ocus on its businesses that provide recurring income such as the supermarket, shopping center, hotel and even its hospital ventures as it seeks to have more stability for the country’s second-largest property developer in the years ahead.

“We want to have a balanced growth. We will keep on investing on the recurring part to give us far greater stability,” company President Antonino Aquino said. He added that emphasis by next year will be on growing its recurring income from the shopping centers that it had developed over the years, and also its ventures in supermarkets, convenience stores and hospitals.

Its supermarket venture will be handled by Puregold Price Club Inc., the convenience stores under the Family Mart brand that is being operated by Japanese conglomerate Itochu Corp., the department stores to be operated in partnership with the Rustan’s Group, and the hospital venture to be handled by the Mercado Hospital group.