As shoppers prefer to spend less time grocery shopping to spend more with their families at home, Stephen Tiu, Sales Director of Johnson and Johnson (J&J) the Philippines, sees an increase in the number of neighborhood supermarkets, convenience stores, and community self-service drugstores, in the coming years.
Tiu said that about 75 percent of value sales in the fast-moving consumer goods market came from supermarkets and ‘sari-sari’ stores, and they continue to dominate.
He added that ‘sari-sari’ stores have transformed from selling ‘tingi,’ or economically-sized portions of commonly-used household and cooking items and mobile phone loads, to an expanded range of offerings such as serving as distribution points for suppliers and as payment centers for utility bills or remittances.
Tiu also mentioned that one factor that contributed to this development is the support that ‘sari-sari’ store gets from national and local reseller supermarkets. These ‘bigger’ stores host conferences and lectures on the topic of financial management, sales and inventory tracking, pricing, merchandising, and customer service that help the smaller ones manage their business better.
Meanwhile, convenience stores are slowly taking the reins from the fast-food chains and restaurants as they continuously invest in dining and serving prepared meals for their customers. Convenience stores offer foods like fresh salads, healthy snacks, and organic ones, which are perceived to be healthier. Furthermore, customers can choose their preferred drinks or brand as they dine inside a convenience store. Customers get all these things, at the same price, if not cheaper, with that of fast food chains.
Lastly, Tiu also sees positive development in the case of self-service drugstores. These stores will not only offer better access to medicines, but will also enable health care, personal care, and beauty care items accessible to consumers and the community. On the other hand, he sees a continuous expansion of one-stop-shop shopping malls in the rural areas that integrates supermarkets, drugstores, and personal care stores in one establishment.