MANILA, Philippines - The SM group is making its foray into convenience stories, via a partnership with Indonesian convenience store giant Alfamart.
SM Supermarket president Joey Mendoza said the company has already opened three Alfamart stores, which are located in Trece Martires and Dasmarinas in Cavite and Las Pinas.
The three stores, which have an average size of 150 square meters, will soon open 24 hours.
He said 3 to 4 more Alfamart stores will be opened as part of the pilot test stage. The strategy involves building the pilot stores in urban areas with high density population and traffic to see if there is demand for convenience stores.
"We want to see if this format will work... We are building confidence and once we see the momentum then we will make our conclusions," he said.
Alfamart convenience stores typically have basic grocery items, vegetables, meat and poultry products, medicine and ready-to-eat food items.
Alfamart will face stiff competition from 7-11, Ministop and Family Mart, which are already present in the Philippines. Japan's Lawson is also expected to enter the Philippine market via a partnership with Puregold.