Ayala Land to boost supermarket line

Posted at 10/14/13 7:17 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Property giant Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) wants to create a significant footprint in the department store and supermarket business in the next five years.

The listed real estate arm of the Ayala conglomerate aims to roll out as much as 10 supermarkets and department stores, hinged on the expansion of malls and mixed-use projects, an executive said.

“The department stores and supermarkets will definitely be our anchors so they will be in step with our (shopping malls) expansion program,” ALI chief finance officer Jaime Ysmael said.

Preliminary target is to set up five to 10 department stores and supermarkets in the next five years,” Ysmael said.

“It will take time. They will follow the opening of the malls that takes two years to construct depending the size,” Ysmael said.

In July, ALI subsidiary Varejo Corp. and Puregold Price Club Inc. unit Estenso Equities Inc. signed a joint venture deal to develop and operate mid-segment supermarkets for ALI’s new integrated and mixed-use developments.

ALI also created a joint venture company with the Rustan’s Group, one of the largest specialty retail firms in the Philippines, for the creation of department stores in Ayala malls.

Ysmael said both department stores and supermarkets are required in the company’s developments.

ALI intends to complete its offering in its mixed-use developments, which so far include shopping malls, office buildings, residential projects and hotels. For new developments, ALI will introduce its own hospitals, convenience stores, supermarkets and department stores.

Jimmy F. P. Perez, investor relations officer of Puregold, said in a recent stock market forum that the new supermarket brand will cater to the middle income segment.

“The middle market chain will have first crack in all ALI developments,” Perez said, adding that Puregold already caters to the mass market while S&R targets the high-end segment.

“The joint venture company could possibly be allowed to put up stand alone operations outside ALI developments,” Perez said.

The property giant earmarked P65.5 billion this year for the completion of ongoing developments and launch of 69 new projects with a combined value of P129 billion.