SSI hunts ASEAN retail brands
Sep 7, 2015
Leading Philippines retail group SSI says it is actively seeking to acquire brands and suppliers in the region that can help it build its ASEAN retail portfolio.
“We continue to seek brands and suppliers that manufacture within the Asean region that would allow us to make the most of Asean free trade agreement. That is a key to our expansion and success in the recent past – to expand our retail concepts in new geographic areas,” SSI president Anthony T. Huang told the Manila Times.
ASEAN, which comes into effect later this year, groups 10 economies in Southeast Asia, creating a free trade zone with less restricted borders. Participating countries are Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
“We’re hopeful because we have ongoing discussions [with potential acquisitions and partners] but nothing final at this time,” Huang said.
“We’ve really been focused on the new acquisitions that we have to roll out next year and on the existing brand portfolio that we’re continuously rolling out and the continued expansion of FamilyMart,” he said.
SSI is also in talks with other foreign brands outside the ASEAN group as it builds a portfolio of lifestyle and fashion brands. Its most recent deal was to partner with Canadian fashion label Joe Fresh.
Huang says foreign brands find the Philippines appealing because the culture is westernised, it has a young population, strong growth and rising middle class with discretionary income.
“We have the youngest population in the region. ‘Youngest market’, that’s the magic formula.
“We’re seeing continued interest that many of the international retail concepts that should be in the market are in fact already in the market. But interests from new concepts are coming in to expand in the region,” he said in the interview.
SSI’s portfolio already includes 115 brands.