WILCON Depot, Inc. expects sales to grow in the “Ber” months as it foresees seasonal heightened consumer spending, according to a company official.

“Many Filipinos definitely will come home and improve their homes, who will do soft renovations and some improvements in their homes, so we are expecting uptake in sales,” Rosemarie B. Ong, chief operating officer at Wilcon, said in an interview with ANC.

Ms. Ong noted that although a shift in consumer spending had been a concern, Wilcon still expects a return to normalcy.

“Despite the temporary shift in spending, we are still very confident that the home improvement will approach normalcy soon because we are still growing. But of course, it is muted because we came from a very high base and once we rebase, I think next year and the coming months will be better,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ms. Ong said that high prices continue to weigh on the company’s operational expenditures.

“There is still that downside risk of high input cost especially for us. Many of our fixed costs went up,” she said, citing logistics, fuel and utility costs as well as salaries.

“But on the other hand, we are experiencing deflation on the cost of our goods but of course, we still have a lot of goods that we bought prior to this period,” she added.

She said high prices had slowed down customers’ purchasing power, which the company hopes to address as it sees deflation in global pricing.

The company is also moving the deadline for its network expansion to next year, according to Ms. Ong.

“We are now at 86 stores and we are close to hitting 100 stores. Our target is to hit 100 stores in 2025 but we might accelerate it by next year,” she said.

“We are on track, we still continue to expand because we want to be ready when the market is ready,” she added.

Ms. Ong said Wilcon’s expansion plan is internally funded but noted that the company is open to potential capital-raising activities.

“Currently, we are still able to fund our expansion through our internally generated funds but we are open and we are still okay in terms of funding our expansion. We are still on track and we are expecting six more [stores] until the end of the year,” she said. — Justine Irish D. Tabile