Villar eyes more malls, convenience stores

by Cathy Rose A. Garcia,

Posted at Aug 16 2013 11:11 AM | Updated as of Aug 17 2013 03:52 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Vista Land & Lifescapes and Starmalls are set to open new malls and commercial developments next year, according to its founder and former senator Manuel B. Villar.

Villar, who is chairman of both Starmalls and Vista Land, said there will be five new Starmalls that will be opened in 2014. The new malls are located in Daang Hari, Davao, Taguig, Cebu and Sta. Rosa.

"Starmalls is constructing five new malls and these are in addition to our (current portfolio of) six... We will open the first one in the second quarter of 2014... We're lining up more malls in the next five years," he told reporters on Thursday.

Villar said Starmalls is also planning to start building four to five new malls next year, but declined to disclose the locations.

On the part of Vista Land, Villar said the property developer is also putting up Vista malls in Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro and Malolos.

Villar said Starmalls are bigger, box-type malls, while Vista malls are sprawling commercial centers that cater to Vista Land's master-planned communities.

"Mas lifestyle approach ng Vista malls and caters to the community, while Starmalls would have the bigger malls," he said.

Vista Land's Evia project in Daang Hari has attracted some well-known retailers such as Rustan's Supermarket, Starbucks and Powerbooks to its commercial development.

"We have a number of strong retailers who would like to go into areas where we're expanding. We're expanding alongside, a company linked to us in terms of shareholdings, Starmalls. With Starmalls group, Vista Land, we have engaged a good relationship with a number of retailers. Getting tenants to come along is much easier... Evia is just the start of our commercial developments. You'll see in the next year and a half, more commercial developments in Mega Manila and the provinces," Vista Land president and CEO Manuel Paolo Villar said.

Convenience stores

The Villar group is also expanding in the convenience store business to compete with 7-Eleven, Mini-stop and FamilyMart.

The elder Villar said they are currently re-branding the Finds convenience stores into All-Day.

"We combined Finds with All-Day... We have sixty now, but we will end the year with a hundred," he said.

The former senator said the retail company will be expanding and increasing its capital to P1 billion from the current P500 million.

The expansion of All-Day stores will be mainly in Luzon for now.