A ‘Merry’ grocery shopping experience


Not even a crisis can stop a MerryMart expansion.

Just last week, MerryMart opened its first branch in Cebu—a 3,000 sqm grocery store located at the Mactan Town Center in Lapu-Lapu City. Its well-appointed interiors and complete range of products, which included fresh meats, fruits and vegetables, personal care and household needs as well as medicines, welcomed Cebuanos to a new, safe and convenient shopping experience.

According to MerryMart chairman Edgar “Injap” Sia II, this MerryMart Grocery branch will just be the first among the multiple branches and formats they plan to put up in Cebu, as the company sees great long term potential in this progressive province. It is also just one of the eight branches that MerryMart intends to open in various locations for the month of October alone.

MerryMart in fact expects to have a total of 25 branches by yearend, in line with its goal of opening its 100th branch by December next year 2021. The ultimate target is to build a network of 1,200 outlets by 2030 with annual sales hitting P120 billion, in a bid to become a top supermarket chain. Stores will come in three formats namely the full-size MerryMart Grocery, MerryMart Market, which houses more specialized products, and the MerryMart Store, which offers a three-in-one concept combining a mini-grocery, personal care shop and pharmacy.

“MerryMart is making its presence felt one city at a time. This will serve as a building block in making the brand a top-of-mind, well-loved Filipino homegrown retail brand,” Sia noted.

“The sprouting of DoubleDragon’s CityMall community centers, Hotel 101, CentralHub warehouses and the chain of MerryMart branches around the country starts like a puzzle that will eventually become a relevant locomotive business ecosystem. The longterm positive synergies between DoubleDragon and MerryMart will literally be like 1 + 1 = 11,” added Sia, who also serves as chairman of Double Dragon Properties.

MerryMart has so far proven to be quite resilient as its branches remained operational throughout this pandemic and quarantine period, owing to the fact that it is in the non-discretionary retail segment, which includes groceries and pharmacies selling essential goods that people consume regardless of the economic condition.

More innovations are underway as well, including the planned drive-thru MerryMart in Iloilo City next year and the recently announced partnership with FoodPanda to pioneer and operate the “dark grocery” store concept in the Philippines.

An earlier disclosure by MerryMart explained that dark groceries are branches that will generally be invisible and will solely cater to online deliveries within the vicinity. The first two “dark grocery” stores are set to start operations in Makati City and Manila City this October 2020

“This concept is a real gamechanger in the online grocery space, imagine being able to buy exactly what you need, when you need it, and for it to arrive at your doorstep in a very short span of time. We are glad to join forces with the global delivery platform FoodPanda to power this ‘dark grocery’ store concept as they are the leaders in the online food delivery space,” Sia said.

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