WALTERMART Supermarket will open at least four stores in 2020 to reach more customers in the provinces.

WalterMart General Manager Rosemarie D. Caalam told reporters on Monday that the company is set to add four to six stores to the existing 35 Luzon-based stores by the end of the year.

“We have so much opportunity here so we’d like to capture the opportunity first in Luzon,” she said, adding that there are “pocket areas” in Luzon provinces the company would like to reach.

“It’s a growing opportunity in terms of network expansion.”

She said that the company is the number one market player in areas it had entered first, especially in the provinces.

Meanwhile, the company has been responding to increased demand for products such as rubbing alcohol amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We are able to plan with our merchandising team and with the supply chain. I think that one is anticipation,” Ms. Caalam said.

She said the frequency of transactions had increased since the epidemic broke out late last year.

The company’s growth, which Ms. Caalam described as “very healthy” and in double digits, can be attributed to the company rebranding and the increased assortment of products.

The WalterMart Group of Companies is under a joint venture deal with SM Investments Corp.

SM Investments Corp. saw a 20% increase in net income last year to P44.6 billion. Its food group, which includes WalterMart, SM Supermarket, SM Hypermarket, Savemore, and Alfamart, opened 248 stores in 2019.

WalterMart expansions to Visayas and Mindanao, Ms. Caalam said, are not yet being considered by the company. — Jenina P. Ibañez