SM Retail Inc., the retail holding company of conglomerate SM Investments Corp., plans to aggressively expand its convenience store chain Alfamart with 500 stores over the next two years.
SM Retail executive vice president Robert Kwee said in a recent interview the company planned to open 120 to 140 Alfamart stores this year, or an average of 10 to 12 a month.
Kwee said with the aggressive store rollout, the group could hit 500 outlets in the next two years, or more than double the current network of 210 stores.
The group is quietly expanding the Alfamart stores in Southern Luzon, especially in Cavite province.
The company recently penetrated Metro Manila as a part of its expansion.
The group pilot-tested Alfamart stores in the country in the second half 2014, targeting urban areas with high-density population and traffic to determine if there was demand for this type of retail format.
Alfamart is one of Indonesia’s largest convenience store retailers.
Meanwhile, SM Investment said it had no plan to list its retail holding company at this time.
“The company will think about such listing when the time is right and it will create more value for the shareholders,” SM Investments vice chairperson Teresita Sy said during the company’s recent stockholders meeting.
SM Investments consolidated its retail companies under SM Retail Inc.in July 2016, bolstering its position as one of the leading retail companies in the Philippines.
The consolidation was seen to be both value and earnings-accretive, given the stores’ competitive position, synergies with SM Supermalls and strong growth potential.
It said the merger would add greater diversity and a more extensive footprint to the group’s portfolio.
SM Retail had more than 2,300 stores across various retail brands as of end-2016, including SM Store, SM Supermarket, SM Hypermarket, Savemore, WalterMart, Alfamart and specialty stores.
SM Retail posted consolidated net income of P10.6 billion in 2016, or 7.4 percent higher than a year ago, while consolidated revenues increased 8.4 percent to P176.5 billion.