Shakey’s to accelerate PHL store expansion

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By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

SHAKEY’S Pizza Asia Ventures, Inc. (SPAVI) said it can exceed its full-year target of 20 store openings by the end of 2017, after it opened on Wednesday the 200th store under its portfolio.

Located at Paseo de Magallanes in Makati City, the newest branch is the 16th store SPAVI has opened this year and is slightly bigger than other Shakey’s branches with a total area of 560 square meters.

“The guidance we gave was at least 20 new stores (this year). I think at least it is safe to say now that we would exceed 20, whether we do 25 to 28 is still up in the air. Depende pa, we’re still negotiating the leases… definitely I’m happy to report that we could easily exceed the 20 new stores,” SPAVI President and Chief Executive Officer Vicente L. Gregorio told reporters after the opening ceremony for the new branch.

While SPAVI is keen on exploring markets outside Metro Manila, Mr. Gregorio said the company will not pass up opportunities to add stores in the metro. For this year, the company has already put up new branches in Ayala Vertis North, Visayas Avenue, and Roosevelt Avenue — all in Quezon City.

SPAVI also opened a branch in Iligan City earlier this year. Despite its proximity to Marawi City, the Iligan branch has exhibited positive results, according to the executive.

For its international expansion, Mr. Gregorio said the company is conducting  studies to identify the right market and the right local partner.

“Nothing solid in Asian markets. We would like to target markets that have good Filipino base. Also know that our concept or menu is Western… We know that other nationalities see this as an American comfort food. So that’s one advantage of the brand,” he said.

Asked how the avian flu breakout in some poultry farms has affected business, Mr. Gregorio said there is no impact yet.

“So far we haven’t seen any negative impact for the consumption of our chicken… Right when the incident was reported, we asked our suppliers inform us and provide us certificates that their products are certified free from avian flu. They don’t source from those areas,” Mr. Gregorio said.

He noted San Miguel Purefoods, which has earlier assured consumers of the quality of their products, is Shakey’s biggest chicken supplier.

SPAVI’s attributable net income for the second quarter dropped by 12.81% to P198.52 million, following a high base in the previous year due to election related spending as well as pressures from bigger competition in the market.

The company targets to book a double-digit growth at the top-line for full-year 2017, which Mr. Gregorio said is sustainable as they already recorded an 18% improvement for the first half to P3.38 billion.

“New stores will be a big plus, so combined same-stores growth and new stores will be our sources for growth. There might be contributions from our international store which we are opening one by September in Kuwait,” Mr. Gregorio said.

The opening of the Kuwait store is in line with SPAVI’s deal to put up at least 10 stores in the country in the next five years. The company also inked a partnership with Aljeel Capital LLC to open at least 10 stores in the United Arab Emirates market by 2022.

Shares in SPAVI shed 12 centavos or 0.96% to P12.4 apiece on Wednesday.