THE Villar Group bared plans to restructure its chain of All Day convenience stores and expand its portfolio to 100 locations in Metro Manila this year as part of a strategy to bolster the presence of its purely Filipino retail brand.
Manny Villar, chairman of convenience store operator All Value Holdings Corp., said the restructuring involves “refining the model, better food, better product lines, and stores renovation.”
The “All Day” brand of convenience stores was previously known as the “Finds” brand.
Villar said that their All Day convenience store brand will be ready for advertisement campaigns and full time expansion next year.
“We have to slow down a bit this year because we are refining our model. But I am still confident that we would hit 100 stores this year. Next year, we’re moving a lot faster, because we’re more confident in the model,” he said.
“I’d like to think we would hit a hundred, but we’ll settle first for about 60 additional stores next year. I’ll go for a hundred, hopefully. But what’s settled is to open 60 to 70 stores [in 2015],” Villar added.
The former senator said the group is still establishing the All Day brand, being an all-Filipino brand that will compete among the foreign convenience stores entering the market. Franchising will not be an option until end-2015, he added
To date, the group has already established 80 All Day stores in Metro Manila.
Villar said it would cost P5 million to P7 million to put up one All Day store.
Asked if they plan to expand outside Metro Manila, Villar said the plan is to expand in Luzon in 2015.
Villar said the booming convenience store segment is slowly attracting the market of the sari-sari store and restaurant segments. He cited the versatility of convenience stores, which can cause challenges to the restaurant sector in the long term.
“Convenience stores are versions of our sari-sari stores. But as the country progresses, people are inclined to patronize convenience stores. [And] convenience stores are practically restaurants, more than restaurants that can also branch out to grocery, which will challenge the restaurants in the future,” he said.
At present, big companies are doing their own strategies to enter into the convenience store format mostly via joint ventures with foreign convenience brands.
Among the strong players include SM’s Alfamart, Ayala Group’s FamilyMart, Puregold Price Club Inc.’s Japanese import Lawson, Gokongwei family’s Ministop, US-based Circle K, and market leader 7-Eleven by the Philippine Seven Corp.
Aside from the convenience store business, the Villar Group said it plans to build more malls, hotels, and condominium towers through its wholly owned companies Vista Land and Lifescapes Inc. and Starmalls Inc.