CEBU CITY – A Cebu-based retail chain on Wednesday expressed optimism about coping with challenges brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic as it continues to look to long-term sustainable recovery programs.
The Metro Retail Stores Group Inc. (MRSGI) reported a net loss of PHP126.47 million for the first three months of 2021, owing to lower customer traffic due to quarantine protocols and continued customer prioritization of purchases to essential goods.
In a statement, the company said its first-quarter net loss is a reversal of the PHP7.98 million net income posted in the same period a year ago.
While the first-quarter retail season is typically lean following peak consumer spending in December, MRSGI attributed the net loss primarily to the 18.9-percent contraction in revenue to PHP6.95 billion against the PHP8.57 billion registered in the comparable period last year, which was minimally affected by the pandemic.
“Along with the challenges and uncertainties brought about by the pandemic are opportunities for growth that we intend to tap. With the right strategy, people and partnerships, we are focusing on long-term sustainable recovery and growth,” MRSGI president and chief operating officer Manuel Alberto said.
The Gaisano family-led retailer said it will also pursue “a multi-pronged growth plan” that aims to further grow its business through the expansion of its e-commerce program, structure the company as an agile organization, and develop new channels, among others.
MRSGI’s total food retail business declined by 14.7 percent, while general merchandise business decreased by 30.2 percent year-on-year. Blended same store sales dipped by 21.4 percent over the same period last year.
The retailer said its thrust to expand its store network into underserved communities plays a pivotal role in its strategy.
After capping 2020 with 56 stores, MRSGI has since opened three more stores in the provinces of Cebu and Leyte.
It also fully reopened its flagship Metro Ayala Center Cebu Department Store, bringing its current store network to 60 stores.
The supermarket and department store operator is set to open another store located in Bacolod in June 2021. (PNA)