Globe Predicts

Filipino retail giant; Robinsons Retail to shift to Pets from Fashion

Press release   •   Jul 15, 2019 07:04 GMT

An exit from the fashion business is being considered by the Filipino retail giant, Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. as it struggles to compete with chains like Fast Retailing Co.’s Uniqlo pertaining to them being cheaper and faster.

In comparison to its fashion portfolio which includes brands like Topshop and Dorthy Perkins, the Roninsons retail is earning better returns from its pet, health, and neauty products according to Robinsons Retail’s Chief Executive Officer Robina Gokongwei-Pe. He said that they are shrinking fashion, for it has become very difficult with the entering of more progressive and cheaper brands. The decision of reducing the number of stores has already been executed, but lately moving out altogether is being considered.

Robinsons Retails fashion portfolio entailed a total of nine brands with sixty stores four five years back, however by the end of last year the brands reduced to just six with a total of 40 stores.

With shrinking operating margins and growing competition in the low- cost space, the Manila based company is expected to reevaluate its business in the coming time.

With strong hopes to achieve 15% revenue growth annually for the next five years, it will be targeting higher-spending consumers by entering into the premium grocery market, as well as expanding foreign franchises in beauty products and pet care.

Robinsons Retail will spend between three billion pesos (about US$59 million) and five billion pesos (US$97 million) to add roughly 100 to 150 stores a year, under a five-year plan targeting mid-to-high teen revenue growth.

Gokongwei-Pe shared that pets have become very big looking at the social media platforms and thus one should put their money where money is; in this case it is in food, drugstores, hardware and other growing businesses like beauty and pets.

As many as 15 standalone stores selling Elizabeth Arden, Shiseido, and Benefit Cosmetics were added by Robinsons Retail after it bought the local franchise for South Korean personal care and beauty products retailer Arcova and Club Clio in December 2018. It plans to open a second Pet Lovers Centre (originally from Singapore) by the end of this year having procured the license for the same in October last year.