On May 18, SM Prime Holdings opened its 70th mall, SM City Telebastagan in San Fernando, Pampanga —a city that has so much to celebrate, from its exciting festivals, a rich history and culture, its food, to its people’s entrepreneurial spirit.
This opening was in time for SM’s 60th anniversary celebration this year. As many of us know, SM was established as a shoe store in 1958 in downtown Manila. It grew into a chain of shoe stores, and a department store in the 1970s.
When Mr. Sy was on his buying trips abroad, he saw the shopping center development in the United States from the East to the West Coast. He knew that this would happen in the Philippines.
When he was building his first shopping mall, SM City North Edsa in 1983, he said that people thought he was crazy. There was a political crisis; interest rates were as high as 45 percent; and the location of the mall was in the middle of nowhere at that time.
SM City North Edsa then opened in 1985, and as they say, the rest is history. It was not only a huge success, but also a lifestyle changing development in the Philippines.
Five years later, SM spearheaded what is known as the malling phenomenon in the Philippines with the opening of SM Megamall in 1991. With that, malling became then a way of life for millions of Filipinos as more SM malls were opened in the metro and provincial areas.
In 2006, SM Mall of Asia, envisioned to be the premiere destination mall in the Asia-Pacific region, opened.
Through the years, the SM mall has evolved in many ways to serve its customers better. SM malls were no longer box-type in design, but have also become world-class architectural landmarks in the areas they are located. Some malls like the SM Aura Premier, The Podium and S Maison, currently serve the more upscale customers.
Today, SM serves shoppers through its malls located as far north as Tuguegarao and as far south as General Santos City. And SM will continue to find more exciting ways to serve its shoppers as it opens more malls in the next few years.