By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Wilcon Depot, Inc., the country’s largest construction supplies and home improvement retail chain, said robust growth has enabled them to accelerate its expansion to 65 stores next year, a year early than target, and 100 outlets by 2025.
Company President and CEO Lorraine Belo-Cincochan said at the sidelines of the 26th Annual Retail Conference and Stores Asia Expo 2019 that they are on track to hit 65 stores next year instead of 2020 from the current 54 outlets. They are building the remaining 4 stores next year.
The current store expansion is still being funded by its roughly P7-billion IPO proceeds. Each store requires an investment of P210 million.
Belo-Cincochan said that robust business has enabled them to accelerate its expansion program instead of its original 2021 target to hit a total of 65 stores.
“Our performance is okay so we are able to accelerate our rollout,” she said. Wilcon posted 17.6 percent growth in sales in the first half of this year.
After reaching 65 stores next year, Wilcon aims to build 35 more stores to hit 100 stores by 2025. They have not really decided on the financing for the next wave of expansion but said this can be internally generated funds or they can tap the debt market as the company remained debt-free.
Belo-Cincochan said they will concentrate expanding in the provinces where they see robust demand. Of the current 54 outlets, 17 are located in Metro Manila and 23 others in Luzon. There are also 7 stores each in Visayas and Mindanao.
“Growth is faster in the provinces than the mature Manila market,” she added noting the stiff competition in the National Capital Region.
“There are new markets are outside of Luzon. We are expanding in the Visayas and Mindanao,” she added. The new outlets could also be smaller a 6,000 square meter display area than the current 9,000 to 10,000 sqms. Its biggest store is in Balintawak with 16,000 sqms.