Retailers group pushes mall space ordinance

By Aileen Garcia-Yap |April 23,2015 - 11:09 AM
Melanie Ng, past president of the Philipppine Retailers Association Cebu Chapter, wears in new officers led by incomeing president Robert Go (second from left) during the induction of PRA officers at the Bayfront Hotel. With him are Jun Yap, past president and chairman Jane Ong, board secretary; Chester Lim, vice president for membership; and Raki Urbina. (CDN PHOTO/ LITO TECSON)

Melanie Ng, past president of the Philipppine Retailers Association Cebu Chapter, swears in new officers led by incoming president Robert Go (second from left) during the induction of PRA officers at the Bayfront Hotel. With him are Jun Yap, past president and chairman Jane Ong, board secretary; Chester Lim, vice president for membership; and Raki Urbina. (CDN PHOTO/ LITO TECSON)

To ensure that local retailers will have equal footing with foreign brands coming in, the Philippine Retailers Association Cebu Chapter will ask the Cebu City government to come up with an ordinance that will encourage mall operators to give priority to local retailers by giving them space in the mall offered at local rates.

In an interview yesterday, PRA president Robert Go said that the thrust of the newly inducted set of officers is to protect and help local retailers compete especially with the Asean integration already happening.

Go said they will draft a letter request to the Cebu City government requesting for this ordinance.

“One way to help protect the local retailers is to put them in areas in the mall that will ensure foot traffic and also offer local rates. It’s not necessarily very low compared to the rates that they may offer to foreign retail,” said Go, president and owner of Prince Hypermart formerly known as Prince Warehouse Club.

He said he has done that in his hypermarts in Visayas and Mindanao where most are LGU initiated.

“If it worked in other areas then it could also work here,” said Go.

Go said that they will start in Cebu City where there are many malls opening then move to other key cities in Cebu.

LEVEL UP
On the part of the retailers, Go said that they are now also constantly advocating for local retailers to level up.

“With the Asean integration the market is opening up so we can expect more foreign brands coming in. Also we have already reached the $3,000 GDP (gross domestic product) per capita level which is the level that signals foreign brands that the market is already mature for them,” he said.

Go said that to be able to compete, every retailer should upgrade, build a strong brand, implement efficiency and differentiate themselves.

Go and other members and new officers of PRA Cebu held their first General Membership Meeting and Induction of Officers and New Members at Bayfront Hotel yesterday.

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