Gaisanos' Metro Retail to open more stores, plans e-commerce foray

Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 17 2017 03:18 PM | Updated as of Oct 17 2017 07:16 PM

MANILA – Metro Retail Stores Group, the Visayas’ homegrown shopping mall and department store operator, is looking to build a synergy between its physical stores and a future foray into e-commerce, its chairman and CEO said Tuesday.

Brick and mortar stores are still more profitable than online counterparts, and the company is planning to open 2 stores this year and 6 to 8 more in 2018, Frank Gaisano said in an exclusive interview with ANC’s The Boss.

Gaisano cited US e-commerce giant Amazon, which posts lower income compared to Walmart, even as its market capitalization is much larger. Amazon is also betting on physical retail with its acquisition of Whole Foods.

"It’s a good mix to have, online at the same time physical store. That’s what we are doing right now," he said.

"We’re still getting ready at this point. We’re not there yet," he said, when asked about the group’s e-commerce plans.

Metro Retail makes sure its stores are stocked based on the demands of the location. While Luzon and Visayas stores may both sell jeans, they may sell different brands, he said.

Millennials want a "curated" selection with not too many choices, he said.

"They want you to offer already the selection for them," he said.

The government’s tax reform program, which seeks lower personal income tax rates, may be good for retailers, he said.

"If they have more time, they have more time to shop. It’s good for us," he said.