SM’s Sy: Malls will thrive despite challenges posed by social media

MANILA, Oct. 28 (PNA) — Malls, which belong to the so-called “brick-and-mortar” businesses, will continue to “click” despite the evolving retail landscape which is enabled by the explosion of digital formats.

Addressing retail partners at the SM Partners Summit last Thursday, SM Prime Holdings President Hans T. Sy noted that brick and mortar businesses like shopping centers are continuously challenged by “clicks” or online formats and social media.

“As you all know, much has happened since we opened our first mall thirty years ago — the retail landscape has become more global and competitive, technology has forever changed the way we live and do things, and customer tastes have changed along with the times,” Sy said.

Sy added that brick-and-mortar businesses like shopping malls have evolved with the times, surviving major and economic political shifts and changing the Filipino lifestyle.

Last week, SM Prime Holdings opened an SM mall in Caloocan City, its 55th in the country. This, 35 years after it opened its first mall in SM City North Edsa in Quezon City.

It also introduced more upscale projects like SM Aura Premier in Taguig and expanded Megamall in 2014 with the Mega Fashion Hall.

“We have seen changing lifestyles in a world that is more global in perspective, and more technologically advanced and environmentally concerned. But together, we have changed the Filipino lifestyle forever,” Sy said.

Steven Tan, Senior Vice President of SM Supermalls, said that today’s breed of shoppers are not the “shop and go” types.

“Right now they’re very experimental. They really want the experience,” he said.

In order to cater to this new breed and to enhance the shopping experience, SM has introduced more international retail brands, more interesting food concepts as well as services geared towards enhancing wellness and providing greater convenience.

Through its retail arm, SM is exploring e-commerce to provide its shoppers with more choices and convenience.

“All in all, we plan to develop four to five new malls in the Philippines each year, with our long-term goal of having 100 malls around the country,” Sy told retail partners. (PNA)