MerryMart, FoodPanda tie up for online-only groceries

A SUBSIDIARY of grocery operator MerryMart Consumer Corp. is teaming up with FoodPanda Philippines to launch a purely online grocery service in the country.

In a statement on Wednesday, the company said its unit MerryMart Grocery Center, Inc. will be working with FoodPanda for “PandaMart”, the latter’s instant grocery delivery service.

MerryMart will open “invisible” groceries that will only cater to online customers within the vicinity. These will be called “dark groceries”, and the first two are set to open in the cities of Makati and Manila next month.

“We are glad to join forces with the global delivery platform FoodPanda to power this ‘dark grocery’ store concept as they are the leaders in the online food delivery space,” MerryMart Chairman Edgar “Injap” J. Sia II said in the statement.

The idea is to allow customers to do groceries from home and get their products delivered within 15 minutes.

“This concept is a real game changer in the online grocery space; imagine being able to buy exactly what you need, when you need it, and for it to arrive at your doorstep in a very short span of time,” Mr. Sia said.

MerryMart is rolling out an aggressive store expansion plan, with a target of hitting 25 branches by end-2020 and 100 branches by end-2021. It currently has 11 operational stores.

By 2030, the company wants to have 1,200 MerryMart stores nationwide, which would generate P120 billion in systemwide sales revenues. MerryMart’s gross revenues in the first semester stood at P1.64 billion and net income at P13.67 million.

“In line with the direction of the MerryMart team to become more and more efficient, it continues to find ways to exponentially build up its sales volume both from its new store openings and also through innovative partnerships such as this ‘dark grocery’ store concept with the FoodPanda group,” MerryMart Chief Financial Officer Hannah Yulo-Luccini said in the statement.

FoodPanda is present in 71 cities in the Philippines and has more than 20,000 riders in its network.

Shares in MerryMart at the stock exchange grew 14 centavos or 4.67% to P3.14 apiece on Wednesday. — Denise A. Valdez

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