Pandemic Can’t Stop SM From Assuring the Scared Shoppers

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This time in Zamboanga City, not even the coronavirus pandemic that emptied shopping centers could deter retail giant SM Supermalls from opening another outlet, as the organization aims to take advantage of travel restrictions to attract shoppers.

Sy-led SM Prime Holdings Inc., the consolidated property arm of the SM Group, said in a statement sent to the stock exchange on Wednesday that ‘SM City Mindpro’ would become its first outlet to cater to residents of Zamboanga City and nearby provinces. In view of this, It will be the company’s seventh Mindanao mall since SM City Davao opened in 2001.

The new shopping center will open with nearly 38,000 square meters of gross floor area, with more than 90% of the spaces already reserved by numerous local and international stores, including iconic brands such as Uniqlo, Sports Central, Watsons, SurPlus and Ace Hardware.

The SM Store, SM Supermarket, SM Theater, BDO and Cyberzone are the other services that SM Mindpro can bring to customers. The easing of quarantine protocols in various areas in the country has led to the reopening of businesses that will help our economy bounce back quicker.

As a result of coronavirus lockdowns that threw millions of Filipinos into unemployment, SM Prime’s decision to open a new mall came amid depressed market morale, sinking the country’s consumption-reliant economy deeper into recession.

The flat-lining customer confidence can be gleaned from the balance sheet of SM Prime. The business of late tycoon Henry Sy Sr. posted a net income of P14.4 billion in the first 9 months, down 48 percent year on year. Through this, Financial reports revealed that 9-month sales from the local malls of the company dropped 57 percent annually to P18.3 billion on the basis of a 52 percent year-on-year drop in rental income after the company postponed receiving rent fees to help its tenants operate in the company. SM Prime runs over 90 SM Supermalls nationally, and is the nation’s biggest mall chain.

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