The Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) has identified new market opportunities for the retail sector as a result of the pandemic, including home-cooked meal deliveries, health products, and cheap makeup.

“Stores promoting hobbies, arts, crafts, board games and gardening will also start to prosper,” PFA Founding President and Chairman Emeritus Samie C. Lim said in a webinar on Thursday.

He said stores selling fitness products, personal protective equipment, “inexpensive indulgences” like beer, chocolate, junk food, and makeup will also see growth.

“In the next couple of years, one of the fastest-selling items — interesting to note — will be eye makeup because of everybody covered with masks. The only thing people can see are the eyes,” he said.

Service sector opportunities, he said, include home schooling, healthcare, mental health and counselling clinics, professional cleaning, and crematorium services.

Mr. Lim said businesses should immediately cut unnecessary operating costs and consider closing down underperforming stores.

“Negotiate aggressively with your landlord for a win-win agreement and immediately open stores that are profitable or at least making enough to break-even. Implement strict health and sanitation practices to keep both your employees and customers safe,” he said.

He encouraged companies to move to digital systems and to secure business financing through loans.

Mr. Lim said the crisis has created new potential franchisees, including stay-at-home mothers who have been buying and selling products during the lockdown, noting that they have the business experience and have created intimate connections within their communities. — Jenina P. Ibañez