By Cris Evert Lato
Cebu Daily News
First Posted 15:38:00 07/28/2008
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Life has been all right for 40-year-old Lorna Conchas since she opened her sari-sari store business in Barangay (village) Canamucan, Compostela town in 1994.
With P5,000 initial investment borrowed from Conchas’ sister, the small store was filled with “goods in sachets” such as shampoo, soap and cooking oil.
The store’s mere presence even aroused the barrio folks’ curiosity who saw, for the first time, a relatively bigger store being put up in their place.
The main reason for the establishment of the store was clear.
“I decided to put up a sari-sari store to augment the family income. Life was hard especially with three children, who in 1994 were still small,” Conchas said in Cebuano.
She said her husband, Ruben, who used to work as a factory worker of a food company, was not earning enough to address the needs of the family.
“So I told my husband that we should put up a business and sari-sari store was the business I had in mind,” Conchas said.
Because of the loyal patronage of people, the sari-sari store found its niche in the barangays. In no time, Conchas was able to save P5,000 and pay her debt to her sister in 1995.
A businessman confirmed that the use of sachets to package different products in the country has increased.
There are also products, which were considered as “unlikely” to be sold in such packaging, are now packaged in sachets.
Robert Go, president of Prince Warehouse Club Inc., said the increasing use of sachets is “economic in nature.”
“It boils down to what is more affordable to the consumers,” he told reporters yesterday during the Sari-Sari Store Festival held at the Cebu International Convention Center.
More than 1,500 sari-sari store owners attended the one-day activity that features an exhibit of different products and live entertainment.
By Debra M. Estero
PATIENCE and good customer service are key elements to help grow and sustain a sari-sari store business.
Ask Juliet Noval, a housewife who has been operating a sari-sari store in the last 17 years.
“Dapat ikaw gyud ang magpa-ubos sa imong mga customers, kay customer is always right man lagi, bisan usahay dili na sila sakto (A sari-sari store owner should be considerate with customers because a customer is always right, even when sometimes they are not),” she said.
Last Friday, Noval was awarded as one of the “Queen Buyers” of Prince Warehouse Club’s (PWCI) Sari-Sari Store Society during a festival held to honor sari-sari store owners all over Cebu.
3RD SARI-SARI STORE FESTIVAL: Senator Mar Roxas inspects different stalls of participants of the recent 3rd Sari-Sari Store Festival, held at the Cebu International Convention Center, together with Roberto Go, President of Prince Warehouse Club. Roxas, who authored the newly enacted Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), gave a speech stressing the importance of “never giving up the long term” and to “act by design, not by default,” as a means to personal success and national development.
By Cris Evert Lato
Cebu Daily News
First Posted 12:52:00 07/25/2008
Sari-sari store owners should equip themselves to sustain the business amid tough economic times, an official of a local retail store said.
“Because fuel prices continue to increase, consumers may opt to buy items in sari-sari stores rather than pay the jeepney fare to go to grocery stores,” said Robert Go, chief executive officer and president of Prince Warehouse Club Inc.
Go said most consumers will go to grocery stores if they will buy in bulk. This is why sari-sari store owners are faced with the challenge to improve inventory handling, accounting and bookkeeping skills, said Go, past president of Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“The times are changing and business is evolving. What businesses need to do is to be efficient and effective so that they can maximize investments given the hard times,” he told in a phone interview.
Noting these challenges, he said, their company has organized the third Sari-Sari Store Society Festival and Convention.
“It is important for sari-sari store owners and micro-entrepreneurs to be given the avenue to develop themselves…for them to learn new skills so we can both grow together,” he said.
Go, through his four retail stores, has initiated a membership club called Sari-Sari Store Society.
The society is currently composed of over 7,000 sari-sari store owners from its four branches located in the cities of Cebu and Danao, and Minglanilla town.
The festival and convention started in 2006 serving as a venue for sari-sari store owners to converge, share best practices and learn business skills from various discussions on entrepreneurship and micro-finance.
This year, the event will be held at the Cebu International Convention Center on July 25. For the past two years, the event was staged at the Mandaue City Sports Complex.
SENATOR Mar Roxas, whom Mayor Tomas Osmeña is endorsing as presidential bet for the 2010 elections, is in Cebu today to attend the mayor’s 25th wedding anniversary.
Osmeña will also celebrate his birthday tomorrow with 1,500 friends and barangay officials at a mall.
The anniversary was actually last Wednesday, but the mayor and his wife Margot will celebrate it today, said City Administrator Francisco Fernandez.
Roxas will arrive this afternoon and will go straight to the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) to grace an activity there.
From there, he will rest for Osmeña’s “party” tonight.
Prince Warehouse Club owner Robert Go is holding a one-day Sari-sari Store Festival at the CICC, which is expected to gather 1,600 sari-sari store owners who are club members of Prince Warehouse’s Sari-sari Store Society.
Now on its third year, the festival includes a seminar on basic accounting, inventory management and how to gain access to micro-finance institutions, which Roxas advocates.