Alfamart Philippines, SM Retail’s first super minimart grocery chain, has built a legacy of purposeful expansion since it opened its first store in the Philippines in 2014.

Having recently celebrated its 8th anniversary in June, Alfamart continues to play a big role in community development by being the provider of daily essentials that neighborhoods could count on and by supporting local entrepreneurs, living up to its tagline, “Always here for You”.

“Our dream for every Alfamart store is to help the local community through employment and also create opportunities for the local MSMEs,” Mr. Harvey T. Ong, Alfamart’s Chief Operating Officer said.

Alfamart has opened more than 500 new stores during the past two years since the pandemic started in 2020.

“This health crisis reinforced our role and responsibilities to the communities. Throughout the tightest of lockdowns, we decided to remain open and continued with our expansion. As a result, we created income opportunities for the landlords that own space and contractors that build the stores. In this manner, Alfamart’s expansion has created over 4,000 jobs over the last two years,” Mr. Ong said.

To further drive community development, Alfamart aims to expand its stores to a total of 1,400 by the end of 2022 as it actively looks for sites in terminals and residential communities.

Through partnerships with local property owners, Alfamart hopes to open more Super Minimarts in communities across Luzon.

Ms. Cecilia Ventura’s partnership with Alfamart in Bulacan as a lessor became a steady source of income after her 20-year stint as an OFW. It also improved the lives of the community in the town.

After over two decades as an overseas Filipino worker, Ms. Cecilia P. Ventura decided to come home to the Philippines and invested in a plot of land in her native Sta. Rita, Guiguinto, Bulacan that later turned into a successful venture with Alfamart.

With customers putting more importance on accessibility to essential goods and convenience, especially during the pandemic, Ms. Ventura said that Alfamart continues to save the community time and fuel, especially at this time when oil prices are spiking, as customers could purchase what they needed close by.

“I also observed that it greatly helps our community in Sta Rita, Guiguinto to have a super minimart within walking distance,” Ms. Ventura said.

Being near a residential community also provides that sense of comfort to residents who consider an Alfamart store as an extended pantry.

Mr. Ong recalled a time when he spoke to one of the store’s loyal customers, an elderly lady who was shopping in her “daster”, or the traditional Filipino house dress.

“Every time an Alfamart goes to these underserved communities, we become part of their neighborhood. If you take a look at our regular shoppers, they don’t need to be fully made up to be here because they feel at home in our stores. We become an extension of their pantry,” Mr. Ong observed.

“By opening stores close to where our customers live and offering them a wide assortment of essential merchandise, we hope to uplift the lives of ordinary Filipinos.” Mr. Ong said.