National Bookstore targets 500 stores with e-commerce synergy

Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 27 2017 12:18 PM

National Bookstore managing director Xandra Ramos-Padilla speaks to Cathy Yang for ANC's The Boss

MANILA - National Bookstore plans to double its store network to 500 while strengthening its online presence, hoping to build a synergy between virtual and brick-and-mortar sales channels, its third generation boss said Wednesday.

A revamped website will soon allow shoppers to browse and purchase from the store's online catalog and pick up the merchandise in physical stores, said National Bookstore managing director Xandra Ramos-Padilla.

National Bookstore hopes to open its 240th store by the end of the year and the 330th by 2020. As it renovates existing shops, it's also experimenting on new formats such as the convenience-store type National Bookstore Express, she said.

"We want an online-offline seamless experience," Ramos-Padilla said in an exclusive interview with ANC's The Boss.

Ramos-Padilla said traditional retail would weather the rise of e-commerce. "We are betting on it," she said.

"Filipinos like to shop. They go to the mall anyway so they might as well shop at National Bookstore," she said.

The 75-year-old bookstore chain founded by Ramos-Padilla's grandmother, Socorro Ramos, targets up to 20 store openings annually.

Ramos-Padilla said the peso's recent decline against the dollar has resulted in price increases due to higher costs of imported paper, but National Bookstore did not implement this before the school opening, when shopping for supplies peaks.

"Some costs we have to pass, but we evaluate as to what extent," she said.