MERRYMART Grocery Centers, Inc. has signed its first franchise agreement.

MerryMart Grocery Centers, Inc. of businessman Edgar J. Sia II has inked its first franchise agreement for a MerryMart Store after opening its first supermarket in April.

Under parent company Injap Investments, Inc., the MerryMart Group — through its various formats MerryMart Grocery, MerryMart Market, and MerryMart Store — aims to expand to 1,200 branches nationwide.

“We would like to take advantage of our group’s know-how in franchising, and our familiarity of the Philippine market terrain, just like in the rollout of Mang Inasal, CityMall, Hotel101 and CentralHub network. We believe this step will further strengthen the market grip of all the industries that our group is involved in,” Mr. Sia said in a statement on Monday.

The MerryMart Store is the group’s household essential store, which includes mini-grocery, pharmacy, and personal care sections.

The new franchise in Capiz province will be run by Mr. Arturo Oñas, who was also the first franchisee of the Mang Inasal restaurants founded by Mr. Sia.

“I immediately reached out to MerryMart to apply for a franchise because I know this will again become a highly successful venture,” Mr. Oñas said in the statement.

“I can still remember when I applied for a Mang Inasal franchise early on about 12 years ago and became the first franchisee of Mang Inasal, now I operate a chain of 23 Mang Inasal franchise stores, and I hope to also grow my MerryMart franchise in the years to come.”

The company said that the on-average 250-square-meter MerryMart Stores will bring growth opportunities.

“The 3-in-1 innovation and expansion through franchising is expected to bring in operational efficiencies and enable MerryMart to rapidly scale up and build up durable competitive advantage. Franchising also creates business opportunities for many budding entrepreneurs,” the company’s statement said.

MerryMart Group currently has seven branches under simultaneous construction. The company aims to generate P120 billion in revenue by 2030.

The next MerryMart is set to open at the ground floor of the new Ayala Malls Manila Bay in Parañaque.

Jollibee Foods Corp. attained full-acquisition of Mang Inasal Philippines in 2016.

Injap Investments Inc. is the holding company for MerryMart, along with Hotel of Asia, Inc., and Deco’s Lapaz Batchoy, and People’s Hotel. It also has joint ownership of DoubleDragon Properties Corp. with Tony Tan Caktiong’s Honeystar Holdings Corp.

Shares in DoubleDragon Properties Corp. closed at P20.60 each from P20.45 at the stock exchange on Monday. — Jenina P. Ibañez