MERRYMART Consumer Corp. is planning to launch smart lockers under a new venture called MBOX, which aims to roll out 5,000 self-service lockers with full-time accessibility by 2030.

The MBOX business will be the first unit under MerryMart’s consumer technology portfolio.

“We believe that MBOX will improve Filipinos’ online purchase experience and give consumers, couriers and merchants a more convenient, efficient, and secure alternative of delivering and receiving packages,” Edgar “Injap” J. Sia II, chairman of MerryMart, said in a statement on Thursday.

Like post office boxes, packages may be collected and dropped off via MBOX Smart Lockers at the customer’s or the delivery personnel’s convenience.

Receivers will be notified of their package deliveries through pick-up code, which will be sent through a mobile text message or a notice from a mobile app available for iOS and Android.

Sending packages and returns may be processed through the MBOX App, which will also include MBOX Smart Locker pick-up options to prevent people from getting their orders simultaneously.

“MBOX Smart Lockers would enable couriers to become more efficient and deliver more parcels in the same amount of time as seen in countries with an already established Smart Locker network,” the company said.

Multiple parcels may be delivered to one location in one go. The lockers would also eliminate the need for in-person contact.

“This pandemic has seen a record rise in deliveries and has highlighted the need for a contactless, efficient, green delivery alternative,” Mr. Sia said.

MerryMart Chief Financial Officer Hannah Yulo-Luccini pointed out how companies such as Grab, foodpanda, GCash, PayMaya, Lazada, and Shopee have made use of consumer technology, eventually making their way to become part of everyday life.

“We have also seen both their respective market share and revenues grow exponentially. We see MBOX to enhance and complement this inevitable evolution and further widen MerryMart’s revenue streams,” Ms. Yulo-Luccini said.

MerryMart will launch an initial 100 MBOX Smart Lockers in cities, MerryMart branches, commercial centers, LGU halls, condominiums, subdivisions, and office buildings in Metro Manila.

“We envision MBOX to soon be a must-have in practically each and every strategic spot in the country,” Mr. Sia said.

MerryMart shares at the stock exchange declined by 2% on Thursday to close at P5.38 apiece from P5.49. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte