MORE foreign retail property brands are expected to enter the Iloilo market due to higher disposable incomes of consumers, a real estate services firm said in a report released on Thursday.
“Colliers sees more foreign brands entering the Iloilo market given the Ilonggo consumers’ rising disposable incomes and improving access to retail establishments brought about by rehabilitated roads and development of planned communities,” Colliers International said in a report.
Membership-shopping brand S&R is slated to open its outlet in Iloilo City the fourth quarter of this year, while Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo opened its first outlet in the city last June, according to the report.
“Other foreign brands set to open shops in the city are H&M and Forever21,” Colliers said.
Colliers said the higher disposable income of Ilonggo consumers is mainly driven by the rising number of workers employed by the growing business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.
At present, Iloilo City’s BPO sector employs an estimated 21,000 workers who earn a basic salary between P13,000 to P15,000 a month, according to Colliers.
“The sector’s employees, who are predominantly millennials, fuel the demand for foreign brands,” Colliers said.
Given the number of upcoming mall developments in the provi nce, Iloilo City’s retail sector is expected to expand in the next two years, the report said.
“Major retail projects are expected to be completed over the next 12 to 24 months and will deliver more than 100,000 square meters of leasable space, indicative of the city’s improving consumer confidence and purchasing power,” Colliers said.
Among the upcoming retail developments in the Iloilo area are The Festive Walk Mall and the Street of Festive Walk, both by Megaworld Corporation, Plazuela Dos, City Times Square by the Gaisano group, SM Southpoint, Robinsons Place Tagbak-Jaro, and CityMall Tagbak-Jaro by DoubleDragon Properties.
Colliers added that the influx of foreign and domestic tourists is also another factor fueling the growth of Iloilo’s robust retail sector.
“Some 1.16 million foreign and local tourists visited Iloilo in 2015, up 40 percent from a year ago,” Colliers said.
The growth of Iloilo’s tourism sector is mainly driven the province being known as a top MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) destination.
“More major international events are expected to be held in the city following the successful hosting of the APEC Small and Medium Enterprise Ministerial Meeting in 2015,” the report said.
Also, the planned modernization of the Iloilo airport should enable the facility to have additional flights and increased flight frequencies, according to Colliers.
“Overall, Colliers sees a more dynamic retail market in the near term as local and foreign retail brands are enticed by the city’s continuously rising purchasing power, fueled by a robust outsourcing sector and sustained remittances from Ilonggos working abroad,” the report said.