SM Supermalls marked a milestone in its history when it celebrated its 30th Anniversary in a two-day event dubbed “Bricks Click, Creating the New Marketplace” that began with a retail forum and culminated in a gala night at the SMX Convention Center where top partners were given recognition.
The event was SM’s way of thanking those who have been part of the SM Family from the time the first mall at SM City North EDSA was opened, as well as those who partnered with SM later and those who are now part of a new generation of corporate leaders. A total of 54 companies were honored in various categories that included Top Partners, Most Innovative Store Design, Green Retail and Best in Marketing during the Gala Night. There were also awards for the Most Popular Brand through an online poll.
“Much has happened since we opened our first mall 30 years ago,” remarked SM Prime Holdings President Hans Sy in his keynote speech during the retail forum. “The retail landscape has become more global and competitive, technology has forever changed the way we live and do things, and customer tastes have changed along with the times,” he said.
Challenged by online formats and social media, Mr. Sy, who is an engineer, went on to cite the qualities which brick and mortar companies like shopping malls share: strength, durability, value, sustainability, and the ability to withstand the test of time.
By working closely together, SM and its partners have changed the Filipino lifestyle forever. “Our malls are indeed called cities, places where families and friends gather together to eat out, have fun, and even do their business transactions, and hear Sunday Mass,” says Sy. “We have become part of the lives of millions of Filipinos.”
It can be recalled that SM opened its first shopping mall SM City North EDSA in Quezon City. Ever the visionary, SM founder and chairman Henry Sy Sr. thought of building malls in the Philippines when he saw the shopping center development in the US during business trips abroad in the 1950s and 1960s.
Despite a major political and economic crisis during that time, the mall became an instant success. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Not surprisingly, SM is looking forward to the next 30 years. “We plan to develop four to five new malls in the Philippines each year, with our long term goal of having 100 malls around the country,” disclosed Hans Sy.