Philippine Seven Corp., the local franchise holder of convenience store chain 7-Eleven, said Wednesday it will spend P3.5 billion this year to open 412 stores across the country.
PSC president and chief executive Jose Victor Paterno said the company would remain aggressive in store openings as it aimed to grow its store network by 20 percent annually over the next few years.
“We will be growing at the same pace by about 20 percent over the next few years. Consumption remains strong and we remain bullish on the consumer sector,” Paterno said.
The company said of the 412 stores, 50 stores would be in Mindanao, 50 in the Visayas and the rest in Luzon.
The company on Wednesday opened its 2,000th store at LV Locsin Building in Legaspi Village, Makati.
From opening its first store in 1984, 7-Eleven became the country’s leading convenience store chain. With only 500 stores seven years ago, PSC expanded the stores to 1,000 in 2014 and 2,000 in just over two years.
It said of the 412 stores for opening this year, half would be company-owned and the other half would be franchised-stores. PSC said sales in 2016 grew 23 percent to P32 billion.
The competition in the convenience store industry intensified over the past two years with the entry of new players such as FamilyMart which is being operated by SSI Group and Ayala Land, Lawson which was brought into the local market by Puregold Price Club Inc. and Alfamart, one of Indonesia’ biggest mini-market operators, which was brought to the Philippines by SM group.
Paterno shifted the company’s focus on expanding its business operations in the provincial areas including the Visayas and Mindanao, as competition in Metro Manila heated up.
Paterno said with the growing economy, there was still room for expansion in the convenience store segement.
“In 10 years, if we are going to be at the level of Thailand in terms of per capital income, that [would be] 15,000 plus stores in the Philippines from current 4,000 stores,” Paterno said.
Paterno, citing figures from research firm AC Nielsen, said the convenience stores, sari-sari stores and grocery are top retail formats that posted faster growth rate among the fast moving consumer group.