Minimart chain Alfamart said on Friday that it is on track to have over 1,200 stores in the Philippines by yearend, after it plans to open 200 stores across Luzon this year. 

The mini-supermarket chain aims to “play a bigger role in community development” through supporting local entrepreneurs. Without disclosing specific numbers, Alfamart Philippines said it aims to add more stores in “underserved communities” this year.  

“We want every Alfamart store to benefit its local community by generating employment, providing rental income to its lessors and creating opportunities for local suppliers,” Alfamart Philippines Chief Operating Officer Harvey T. Ong said in a statement.   

Alfamart Philippines is a joint venture between the SM Group and PT Sumber Alfaria Trijaya Tbk (Alfamart Indonesia). It has over 17,000 outlets in Indonesia.  

Alfamart carries products from basic grocery items, selected SM Bonus products, fresh and frozen items, snacks, and personal care products. It is also a supplier of neighborhood eateries and mom-and-pop shops.   

Meanwhile, its bigger branches allow local entrepreneurs to set up shop within Alfamart’s vicinity, helping them gain access to its “strategic locations.”   

“A growing number of bills payment kiosks, food kiosks, and laundry shops are already partnering with us to offer their products and services to our shoppers. Partnerships are especially relevant now that everyone is reeling from the economic effects of the pandemic,” Mr. Ong said.  — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte