Quick Finds

Custom Search

Let Customers Pay You Thru Paypal

Sign up for PayPal and start accepting credit card payments instantly.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sari-sari: Our Friendly Neighborhood Store

Name it, you'll have it.

This seems to be the motto we can give to the so many sari-sari stores that we can find in almost every block near our homes.

From tinapay, to kakanin, yosi, chichirya, canned goods, candies, common medicines, softdrinks, diapers, to shampoos and eggs. And the list goes on and on- name it, you'll have it.

During my childhood days in the province, we have at least 3 to 5 sari-sari stores near our home. So now, I often wonder if ever the competition was so stiff; and why do they all continue to exist even if there is a big store owned by a filipino-chinese who caters the same set of commodities.

I remember my mother would send me to one of those sari-sari stores to buy 1/4 karne, or isang banig na paminta or any of those veggies that she'll use to cook pinakbet. Indeed, it fascinates me looking at how such a small area could hold up to almost anything and everything we need in our day-to-day lives.

The typical sari-sari store showcases the chichiryas in front. then on the stalls beneath will be the canned goods, such as sardines, tuna, liver spreads, squids, then the bottled ketchups, toyo, patis, and even sandwich spreads.

Why the sari-sari stores continue to exist sans the existence of large supermarkets, groceries and 24/7 stores were being studied by some well-know research groups.

Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism thus says in one of its special reports,

Food items are the most popular candidates for micro-repacking, and it is common to see oil, vinegar, pepper, sugar, or achuete sold in tiny, plastic bags. They used to go for as low as five centavos each, but today the price is at P1 to P5.

People were buying in tingi because that's what they could afford. Cooking oil, soy sauce were measured in cups and then transferred to the bottle or glass brought by the customer. Even hard drinks were also sold in tingi, "paisa-isang shot."

TNS's Asiapanel division notes that in 2003 the traditional trade continued to gain share in the market, particularly in poorer rural areas.

According to AC Nielsen, these small neighborhood stores have grown to nearly 560,000, making them the top retail outlets in the Philippines.

So strong has been the performance of sari-sari stores, Mercy Abad of TNS says, that when a manufacturer comes in and first looks at the retail trade structure, he wonders, "How am I going to sell the 400-ml in a small store?"

Though sari-sari stores may impose uneven markups, consumers find these stores more convenient, especially for emergency purchases. Teresa Deocaresa of TNS says sari-sari stores have evolved into some sort of the Pinoy's extended pantry. The fact that they provide credit gives them another plus in the harried consumer's budget book.

AC Nielsen notes that while the "AB class prefers wide product assortment, the DE would buy on need basis, mostly small-size packs and on credit." And while these consumers buy in smaller volumes, it says, their huge number make up for the slack. Sachets and products in smaller packages enjoy wider reach in rural areas than in urban areas, says AC Nielsen.

Overall, shampoo, detergent, soap, and toothpaste remain the top (and growing) items in the nonfood category, according to TNS. These products, apart from being the most basic necessities of a consumer, all happen to come in sachets or smaller packs. Even fabric softeners are now fast becoming sachet-driven, says TNS account executive Omar Carlos.

Indeed, the sari-sari store depicts much of the Filipino-his cultures and his ways of making it to survive.

In these hard times, where the Philippine Economy is at an unstable condition, the Sari-sari store will always emerge as the friendly neighborhood store that we can go to for our basic necessities in life.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Get Your Paypal Account Now!

Sign up for PayPal and start accepting credit card payments instantly.