Mini-mart chain Alfamart will open 200 new stores in the Philippines next year, according to a Fitch Ratings report.
It said Alfamart Philippines stores already has 400 stores in the country, of which 180 were opened this year in partnership with local operator and majority stakeholder SM Group. The 200 new stores will take its total network to 600 locations in the Philippines by the end of next year.
“Alfamart’s investment risk for its Philippine expansion is mitigated by the strong presence of SM Group in the country … Fitch expects Alfamart to have access to SM Group’s large business network and tap its widely known brand”.
SM Retail operates 1729 stores nationwide. Alfamart’s Indonesian parent has a 35 per cent stake in the Alfamart Philippines business.
According to the report, “Both Indonesia and the Philippines are consumer-driven markets with young populations and expanding middle classes. Both economies have similar income levels of GDP per capita of US$3000-$4000. Consumers in both markets also prefer to buy small amounts of bundled products rather than filling grocery carts”.
It described the mini-mart sector in the Philippines “as untapped and having limited competition … the existing players mostly operate convenience stores that carry more limited products. Alfamart’s stores offer additional products, such as fresh and frozen food, personal care and small household appliances, giving the company some competitive advantage in grabbing market share.
“Alfamart chose to expand in the Philippines as it believes it has more potential than other Southeast Asian markets, such as Thailand and Vietnam.”