All consumers want convenience. In this fast-paced world, the industry of fast-moving consumer goods is perhaps, one of the many that goes side by side with it. One of the many innovations that Filipinos initiated was the introduction of the sari-sari stores, which could even be considered as unique to the country. Nonetheless, as the country continues to move forward, the popularity of sari-sari stores seem to be losing its luster, and is being slowly replaced by one of its great contenders.  

          In the recent Shopper Trends Report done by Nielsen market research firm, reported in the Philippine Daily Inquirer last July 20. 2013, it was headlined that Filipino consumers are now preferring to purchase from supermarkets instead of buying from the conventional and traditional sari-sari stores[1]. According to the Managing Director of Nielsen Philippines, Mr. Stuart Jamieson, this behavior is primarily because of the proliferation of the small convenience stores opening in places that tend to be nearer and nearer to consumer households.  Also, it was reported that due to the convenience brought by proximity, there is the consequence of buying more frequently in smaller quantities than wholesale purchases (see Figure 1).

          Rightly so, we have been hearing recent expansions of Philippine corporations which would want to penetrate the market more and more. One example would be Philippine Seven Corporation, which planned to put up 1,300 stores nationwide at the end of 2014 from their current establishments of 900 this 2013[2]

          From this news report, we can extract several insights. First, we can say the corporations in Philippine retail industry is putting much effort in order to reach its consumers thereby trying to capture the whole of the market. By penetrating the market more and more, they are able to gain the benefits of having a wider consumer market in order to maximize profits. 

          Second, there is also an effort to tap unexplored rural areas outside Metro Manila. This is because these corporations are realizing that consumers in NCR are not the only ones making up the whole of the market but other regions are also greatly contributing to the overall consumption of goods. One proof of this is the plan of the Philippine Seven Corporation to intensify construction of establishments in the Visayas Region such as in Cebu, Iloilo, and Negros Islands. 

          Lastly, we can also attribute this shift of consumer preference to the increase in the income of the consumers. Because of the growth in real income, people are now more confident to purchase and consumer products. According to the Kantar Worldpanel report on Asia Consumer Insights for the first quarter of 2013, the Philippine consumers from the middle income of the high income were the ones which had the highest growth of more than 5% for both sectors[3]. It should then be noted that an increase in income is good for the consumer market because it stimulates consumption and increases demand of consumer products.

[1] Lucas, Daxim. "Filipinos shifting from “sari-sari” stores to supermarkets | Inquirer Business." Inquirer Business | Philippine News for Filipinos. 

          <http://business. inquirer.net/133509/filipinos-shifting-from-sari-sari-stores-to-supermarkets> (accessed July 25, 2013).
[2] Venzon, Cliff. "More 7-Eleven stores planned." Business World Online. <www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Corporate&title=More-7-       

          Eleven-stores-planned&id=73629> (accessed July 25, 2013).
[3] "News - Emerging Market Consumer Insights Q1 2013 - Kantar Worldpanel." Kantar Worldpanel | Consumer Panel | Consumer behavior insights | 

          Consumer panels - Kantar Worldpanel. <http://www.kantarworldpanel.com/vn/news/Emerging- Market-Consumer-Insights-Q1-2013> (accessed 
          July 25, 2013).

Figure 1. Frequency of Grocery Shopping 2011-2012 (by AC Nielsen)
Figure 2. Filipino Preferences of Transportation when Purchasing Consumer Goods, 2012 (by AC Nielsen)
(Taken from Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business Section, Issue: July 20, 2013)

by: Emilio Antonio | Marcella Karaan | Julian Martinez | Ivy Zuniga 

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