After creating biggest chain of malls in Philippines, SM plans to conquer e-commerce


SM Mall of Asia PH

Philippines’ SM Investments, the owner of the largest chain of malls in the country, is now preparing to jump into e-commerce.

SM Investments vice chairwoman Teresita Sy-Coson told Bloomberg that the company is already doing some tests in preparation for the e-commerce websites and full-scale online operations are expected two years from now.

SM had humble beginnings, starting with a small shoe store in Manila. It expanded over the years and has since built more than 230 malls and supermarkets across the country. Its success means that SM Investments founder Henry Sy is on the Forbes Philippines’50 Richest list with US$12 billion in net worth. But now that the commerce landscape is shifting to online platforms, the company is hopping on the bandwagon.

Currently the mall company has online websites that sell toys, appliances, and event tickets. But Coson says this is just a small online presence compared to what they are trying to build.

The Philippines’ e-commerce space has started to blossom in recent years. Today a number of local startups, along with global players such as Rocket Internet’s Zalora and Lazada, have entered into the scene. As a big retail player like SM steps into e-commerce, it will be interesting to see how the competition will fare against the other e-commerce players.

(Source: Bloomberg | Photo: Flickr user Donblimey)

(Editing by Josh Horwitz)

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