MANILA, Philippines – Tantoco-led SSI Group Inc. intends to continue its aggressive store expansion this year, earmarking P1.5 billion to cement its position as the country’s largest specialty store retailer.
SSI vice president for investor relations Marti Atienza told The STAR that the listed retailer is earmarking P1.5 billion for capital expenditures (capex) this year, nearly the same level of spending it had last year.
Atienza said the capex would be used to add around 130 new stores to its network.
The company is funding this year’s capex through the P7.45 billion it raised from an initial public offering (IPO) in November last year.
SSI is currently in the process of expanding its store network as it seeks to capitalize on favorable market conditions, evolving consumption patterns and consumer tastes and the availability of prime retail space in new and existing mall developments.
As of end-June last year, SSI had 655 specialty stores in 68 major malls across the country.
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Atienza said the firm has already spent P1.3 billion in expanding its store network in the first nine months of 2014, adding a total of 87 new stores or an additional of 23,000 square meters of retail space.
SSI is the country’s leading specialty store retailer, operating more than 100 international brands which includes Hermès, Prada, Gucci, Burberry, Salvatore Ferragamo, Lacoste, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Gap, Old Navy, Zara, Stradivarius, Bershka, Aeropostale, Samsonite, Nine West, Payless Shoe Source, Beauty Bar, Marks and Spencer, Pottery Barn and TWG, among others.
In November last year, the company also ventured into online retailing to complement its bricks and mortar stores through an e-commerce site called ssilife.com.ph.
The online retailing site is initially offering brands such as Marks & Spencer, TWG, Oliviers & Co, Payless Shoe Source, Nine West, Aerosoles, Bass, Superga, Steve Madden, MBT, OkaB, A/X Armani Exchange, Replay, High Sierra, Samsonite, Beauty Bar and MakeRoom.
SSI’s profits improved by almost half in the first nine months of last year on the back of continued expansion of its store network and brand portfolio.
The firm’s net income ballooned 49 percent year-on-year to P674 million while revenues jumped 16 percent year-on-year to P10 billion.