Villar pushes plan to become big retail player

By VG Cabuag, BusinessMirror

Posted at Jun 30 2014 10:17 AM | Updated as of Jun 30 2014 06:17 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Villar Group targets to open at least 25 of its retail stores all over the country under the All Home brand, a move meant to support the needs of the residents and clients of property developer Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc.

Manuel Villar, chairman of both Vista Land and All Value Holdings Corp., said there will be an average of four store openings this year through 2015.

The company is also keen on expanding further in the Visayas and Mindanao to support its home buyers.

“We have all identified the sites for the 25 branches. It’s a perfect fit for Vista Land. It’s just a matter of timing when we will launch these, as it all depends on the demand and how each branch is performing,” Villar told reporters over the weekend at the launch of its All Home branch in Taguig City.

At the moment, the said stores were all under All Value, a separate entity where Villar also sits as the chairman.

Villar, however, said the company may, in the future, be folded under Vista Land, the group’s publicly listed firm, or list as a separate entity.

According to Villar, All Home, which sells everything from furniture and construction materials to appliances, will launch a total of four this year, including the Taguig site that it launched over the weekend. It will open later this year a site in Santa Rosa, Laguna; Daang Hari in Molino and Imus in Cavite.

The company already opened a branch in Starmall in Alabang, Muntinlupa City; San Jose del Monte in Bulacan; San Fernando, Pampanga; and in Star Plaza Agro, also in Muntinlupa City.

By next year, Villar said the company may open branches in Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Iloilo and Malolos in Bulacan.

“By next year, we will have a minimum of 12 branches and a maximum of 16,” Villar said.

A small format of the store costs about P50 million to build, excluding the property, as most of these will be in the malls. The larger-format stores will have around 10,000 square meters in floor area and costs around P300 million to build.

The store is a one-stop shop for home improvement, furnishings and buildings. It hopes to cater to contractors, architects, interior designers and homeowners that are building their own homes.

“We have 22,000 buyers [of house and lot] each year. So we want to cater to that market,” Villar said.

The All Home is part of the Villar Group’s plan to develop the commercial areas within various Vista Land properties, such as Brittany, Camella and Palmera Homes, Crown Asia and Vista Residences.

“We are big in property development and we want to become big in retailing as well. We want to capitalize on our being the [country’s] largest home builder,” Villar said earlier.

Villar’s retail group, which will include its own brand of department stores, will fall under the MBV Holdings Corp., a company that was just incorporated in May.