Billionaire Mannuel B. Villar is optimistic about the prospects of his growing retail empire and plans to aggressively open more branches next year while preparing the initial public offering (IPO) of the popular Coffee Project.
In an interview after the Villar Group Convention: Retail Innovation Shopping Expo (ViCon: RISE), Villar said the retail business is seen to ride on the country’s economic recovery in 2022.
“I am very glad that (the COVID pandemic) is about to end,” Villar said adding that the economy is also seen to get a boost from higher spending in 2022 because it is an election year.
He noted that AllHome Corporation and newly-listed AllDay Marts Inc. are targeting to open 10 branches each next year as part of their ongoing expansion program.
Villar noted that foot-traffic in their retail businesses, all held under AllValue Holdings Corporation, have recovered to pre-pandemic levels starting the fourth quarter of 2021.
He added that even their malls under Vista Land and Lifescapes Inc. have seen foot-traffic recovering to over 100 percent of pre-pandemic levels and they no longer need to extend concessions to the tenants since their businesses have also recovered.
Meanwhile, Villar said they are preparing for a “small” IPO for Coffee Project which will have at least 100 branches by then.
He said they are also considering the acquisition by Coffee Project of their growing number of more upscale café-restaurant concepts hatched amid the premiumization of the market.
“We have eight types of these coffee shops that are world-class and even better than those in Europe,” said Villar adding that they may put these under Coffee Project to increase its size for the IPO.
Villar said they are also converting their AllDay convenience stores, which are not part of the AllDay Marts supermarket chain, into AllGreen stores to offer not just groceries but also health and beauty and pharmaceutical products.
He said these are patterned after Walgreens of the US.