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July 14, 2016

Malls will eventually retail gas – lawmaker

MANILA, Philippines – Mall developers like SM Retail Inc., Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. and DoubleDragon Properties Corp. would eventually establish their own fuel service stations, party-list group Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers’ Association (LPGMA) predicted yesterday.
 
“As more Filipinos get to own cars, we anticipate mall developers ultimately making gas stations a big part of their strategy to draw in more shoppers and drive retail sales, just like Wal-Mart Inc. in America,” LPGMA Rep. Arnel Ty said.
 
He cited a National Economic Development Authority survey showing that “62 out of every 100 Filipinos want to own a car.”
 
Ty said more families would be buying cars as they make it to the middle class, thus spurring the demand for new fuel stations.
 
“Right now, low-priced fuel gasoline and diesel are also helping boost car sales,” he said.
 
Owing to a vibrant economy and depressed lending rates, he said motor vehicle sales in the country soared 22.9 percent last year to 288,608 units, versus 234,747 units sold in 2014.
 
Passenger car sales in particular jumped 29 percent to 116,381 units in 2015 compared to 2014’s 90,287 units sold.
 
“Our projection is that developers will likely put up their own brand of fuel stations next to their malls, and not just partner with existing oil firms,” Ty said.
 
“The retailers of the future will not just be after 24-hour fuel sales. They will also be after the additional purchases of items that are usually bought from convenience stores in gas stations,” he said.
 
He said the entry of mall owners into retailing fuel would be a welcome development for consumers.
 
“We need robust competition in the retail space for gasoline, diesel, LPG and kerosene to provide consumers fair and reasonable prices at the pump,” he added.
 
LPGMA has been batting for greater competition in the local petroleum market and increased consumer protection against potential pricing abuses as well as unfair trade practices.
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