SM to build new malls, more projects in Cebu Monday, January 4, 2010
Inquirer (Cebu) By Aileen Garcia-Yap
After enjoying double-digit growth in sales this year, SM Prime Holdings Inc., which owns SM malls nationwide, is bringing in more projects to Cebu in the next two years.
Marissa Fernan, vice president for marketing of SM Prime Holdings Inc. (Visayas and Mindanao), said two more SM malls will soon rise to cater to the north and south areas of Cebu.
“Another mall will rise in Consolacion in northern Cebu with an area between 35,000 to 55,000 square meters,” Fernan said.
Fernan said that they would tie-up with Everjust Realty and Development Corp., which is owned by Justin Uy, owner of Profood International Corp., for the development of the mall.
The Consolacion mall will hopefully be launched in 2011.
Fernan, however, did not specify the area in the south of Cebu that they planned to build a mall.
But according to earlier reports SM Prime Holdings Inc. was buying a 30-hectare lot at the South Road Properties in Cebu City and part of the development of the lot would include a mall.
Fernan also said that they would also be launching an IMAX theater in the existing mall anytime between the first or second quarter.
According to SM Cinema's website, IMAX is the world's most advanced digital theater system and is superior to all conventional digital systems.
Radisson Hotel, which SM Prime Holdings developed out of the old Sheraton Hotel structure (which never opened), is expected to open its doors for customers anytime in 2010, Fernan said.
Fernan added that to make it more attractive to their guests, they are designing incentives and promotions.
“We can have them claim something in the mall to encourage them to come here so that we can create traffic too but these are still plans,” Fernan said.
Fernan said the retail sector was only slightly affected by the global financial crisis and proof of that is the 35-percent increase this year of SM mall sales nationwide. Cebu is one of the top five best performing malls nationwide.
“As Han Sy would put it, “What recession?” Fernan said.
Fernan attributed the double digit growth to the continuous remittances from overseas Filipino workers who, despite the said global recession still continued to send money to their loved ones here and seemed not at all affected by the recession themselves.
Fernan added that the booming tourism industry of Cebu has also contributed to how the retail industry in Cebu was able to post growth despite the global economic meltdown.
SM’s Global Pinoy Lounge which will be launched on January of 2010 as their way of thanking OFWs.
“This is our way of thanking them and also helping them as we will be having counseling in the lounge soon in partnership with OWA and POEA.
We'll also offer free voice and video calls for them which will be provided by Abot Tanaw,” said Jen-Jen Amigo, SM regional marketing manager for Visayas and Mindanao.
Amigo said that OFWs and their families can use the lounge by applying for a Global Pinoy Card.
“They simply show their OFW I.D. cards or proof of remittances. We are still offering them to OFWs who are also our existing SM Advantage Card holders.”
The lounge occupies at least 130 square meters on the third level of the mall near Abot Tanaw outlet.
Fernan said SM invested at least a billion pesos in the lounge.