ROSELLE MARISOL BELLEZA ANDAYA
Chief Operating Officer
BRICOLAGE GROUP OF COMPANIES in the Philippines
By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Retailing used to be simple, but with the advent of technology and myriads of products to sell, it has been a bustling journey for anyone out to go into selling.
Filipinos have also carved a name in the retailing industry globally that even the big foreign retailers are apprehensive to dive into the local shores. But not for Malaysian retailer Mr. DIY (Do-It-Yourself) whose aim is to become a household name in the Philippines and the entire Asia Pacific region in the next five years.
ROSELLE MARISOL BELLEZA ANDAYA is at the helm of its operations making sure Mr. DIY fulfills its vision.
Mr. DIY started in Malaysia in 2005 as a hardware store.
Today, Mr. DIY is the largest home improvement retailer and has a growing network with over 750 outlets throughout Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines and Asia Pacific serving 128 million customers. The homegrown enterprise is now available online in Malaysia.
All Mr. DIY stores are managed directly and they work in collaboration with large retailers and mall owners, operating as a mini anchor tenant in their respective location.
Most Mr. DIY physical stores encompass about 10,000 square feet of retail space, providing a comfortable and wholesome family shopping experience.
With nine departments – hardware, household, electrical, car accessories, stationery, toys, gifts, sports and jewelry & cosmetics in each store, Mr. DIY offers wide selections of more than 20,000 types of products with the lowest prices in the market.
The company’s vision is to become the largest home improvement retailer in Asia-Pacific. To do that, Mr. DIY strives to always put customers first by operating an innovative business that is flexible when it comes to a wide range of product variety, good quality and value-for-money prices, holding true to the company motto of “Always Low Prices.”
Among foreign retailers, we can say that Mr. DIY has braved this very competitive retailing industry in the country. No major foreign retailer has entered the Philippines because they know very well how advanced the local industry has become.
Foreign retailers have to put up with the well-entrenched retailing experts in the country led by the SM Group, the country’s largest retailer with branches all over the country and in China also.
But Mr. DIY came trying its luck in October last year bringing its own business model. On its arrival in the Philippines, the Malaysian retailer vowed to open stores and offer over 20,000 affordable goods, all throughout the country.
“From our 1st store opened last October 4, 2018, we now have 20 stores throughout the country. The stores are situated throughout the Philippines, from Metro Manila to Visayas to Mindanao regions. All our stores are company-owned,” says Roselle, who is backed with 24 years of work experience 19 years of that have been spent in the retail industry.
According to Roselle, all Mr. DIY stores are owned by the company. This is the business model for the Philippines and the rest of the countries.
The selection of products in Mr. DIY Philippines is a result of studying the needs of both the Asian and Filipino families. Part of the standard system of Mr. DIY is to constantly monitor, evaluate and adjust its product offerings to best suit the value-conscious Filipino shopper.
Mr. DIY also seeks to cater to all market segments, gender and age.
“Mr. DIY is a family store,” says Roselle.
With over 20,000 product offerings, there is always something for each member of the family to be excited about when shopping in a Mr. DIY store. A Mr. DIY store is for those who appreciate the value of products that allow them to uplift and improve their family lives.
“Shopping in Mr. DIY means you can shop for the different roles you play in your family. A dad can also be a brother, a mentor, and a friend. Mr. DIY has products to help him fulfill each and every role,” says Roselle.
Despite a domestic retail industry that Roselle described as “extremely” competitive, she expressed confidence that Mr. DIY with its business model and market positioning in the Philippine market is going to get a bigger share of the pie.
“Mr. DIY has just begun its rollout and already, we are very pleased with the reception of the market to our concept and products. You can look forward to seeing more Mr. DIY stores within the coming months,” she adds.
To cope with competition, Mr. DIY offers an extensive product line-up. This makes shoppers to always look forward to when going to the stores. The selections are regularly evaluated and updated to ensure that Mr. DIY offerings are always relevant to the needs and wants of the market.
But Roselle said that Mr. DIY has no direct competitor. It does not consider other retailers even the small Japanese brands that offer similar home improvement products competitors.
“Currently, Mr. DIY does not have a direct competitor. What makes Ms. DIY stands out is the wide range of products it offers with over 20,000 products covering 10 categories, all offered at affordable prices,” she adds. This puts Mr. DIY in a unique position to serve the market.
The best performing category right now is Household, according to Roselle.
“The company’s vision is to become the largest home improvement retailer in Asia-Pacific and we strive to always put customers first by operating an innovative business that is flexible when it comes to product variety and quality at value-for-money prices,” says Roselle.
Roselle, who is on top of the domestic operation, is backed with a solid experience in merchandizing, brand management and marketing, operations as well as store conceptualization.
She has held overall management responsibility for store operations, including personnel, POS, visual merchandizing, and the handling of stores’ day to day needs and transactions. Her experience in the retail industry has been in various retail concept formats for which she has been responsible for overall profitability and efficiency of each distribution point/store.
Already, the Malaysian retailer has received the “Brand of the Year” award in the National tier of the Retailer-Home Improvement Category at the 2018 World Branding Awards held at Kensington Palace, London.
The award was organized by the World Branding Forum, a global non-profit organization dedicated toward advancing branding standards. It is considered the ultimate global brand recognition accolade a brand can be granted.
The award celebrates the achievements of some of the greatest brands around the globe where more than 4,500 brands from 57 countries were nominated.
Other Malaysian category winners were Maybank for Banking and Spritzer for Water. Nominees were judged for brand valuation and consumer market research through public online voting.
The company’s recognition is expected to bring Mr. DIY to greater heights in reputation and confidence in the brand across the globe. Other than that, Mr. DIY attributes its success to all management and front-liners for their continuous dedication, contribution, and effort in shaping what Mr. DIY is today.
The biggest challenge of Mr. DIY is achieving its goal to establish over 1,000 stores across Asia Pacific by the end of this year. Of this number, the Philippines is expected to contribute more or less 10 percent.
At present, some of Mr. DIY stores in the National Capital Region are located at Ayala Mall Circuit, Makati City; Fisher Mall, Quezon City; and Balagtas Town Center, Bulacan City. More are expected to open.
“Our business development team is working double time to ensure success,” says Roselle, who also had experienced working with the Villar Group of Companies (sports division) and Planet Sports, Inc.
Roselle also acknowledged the growing online shopping business, but there is no concrete figure yet that can really tell there is a shift happening from the physical shopping to online buying.
“Online shopping can be convenient, but from our current perspective, Filipinos love shopping in malls,” she adds.
With the Household category as its biggest revenue contributor, Roselle said this only bolstered its goal to make its lifestyle home store more meaningful to customers.
“Life improvement is relevant to every Filipino family and communities; these are the values that drive us to do more. These are the values that Mr. DIY empowers its customers with. For Mr. DIY to be part of the life improvement of every Filipino family is equally exciting and rewarding,” adds Roselle, who once worked with Rustan’s Commercial Corp. as brand/merchandize manager handling top global fashion and cosmetics brands.
The goal is to make Mr. DIY to be top of mind when it comes to home and life improvement for the Filipino family in the next five years.
The company culture of Mr. DIY has been a good measure for Roselle as COO as she encourages independence and accountability.
“Being a member of Mr. DIY family is knowing that you support and complement each other in order to have synergy. When we have synergy, 1 plus 1 becomes 3,” says Roselle.
“Thus, to be part of my team means to demand and expect from yourself more than what you think you are capable of,” adds Roselle, who relaxes by dancing and playing golf.
As a manager, she has learned to choose to work with people who complement each other’s skills, experience and attitude.
“Building a company and a brand comes with never-ending challenges and complications. Simplify your outlook. When you get stressed, have fun. When you get tired, rest. When you win, celebrate. In between everything, keep moving forward,” she adds.
Roselle is confident that the original hardware store has evolved and is well-positioned to achieve its goal to become the largest home improvement retailer in Asia-Pacific.