No other segment of the market is as sensitive as retailers. A good reputation is not enough when the tide is against you. Size is not even the determining factor in creating a profitable business. Focus is.
The newest mall that will soon open in Metro Manila, Fisher Mall, understands the dynamics of commerce; on the other it is transfixed by shopper psychology. The tone, like the owners themselves, is confident, assertive, straightforward and hardworking.
Ray Del Rosario, president of Mallers Management Corp., which will operate Fisher Mall faces the challenge of being a new player in the retail industry. No detail is too small to escape his attention. He’s an astute observer of retail trends. He understands the needs of SMEs starting up in retail.
Speaking before the 22nd National Retail Conference and Stores Asia Expo (NCRE) and organized by the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) held on August 7-8 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, Ray del Rosario said that challenges are never-ending even for both veterans and most especially for new players. Everyone in the retail leadership – from CEOs, presidents, directors, managers and business partners – benefited from the knowledge gained and the huge networking possibilities.
Del Rosario notes the lessons they have learned to make Fisher Mall a very customer-centric mall – more vivid, intelligent, adventurous, imaginative, and alive with the human quest for art and beauty. “There has to be emotional content to the shopping experience.”
When it comes to flexibility, Del Rosario points out that they can decide fast be it in designing the mall to the brands they would like to bring in the mall– “but always keeping in mind the needs and wants of the community, like my younger brother Obby who’s idea it is to open the supermarket early to offer the freshest catch each day.” Proud of their roots and humble origin, the Del Rosario family owns Irma Fishing, headed by their patriarch Roberto “Bobby” del Rosario, which is touted to be the country’s largest galunggong supplier.
You see a lot of community life in its mall. The retail arena is still the best place we know for seeing what people wear and eat and look alike, how they interact with parents and friends and lovers and kids. It’s also not a bad place to shop.
“Mall is made by people who go to malls. We look at the best practices and will always introduce new features which the community needs – all the features, convenience present are things we normally look for ourselves,” he furthers stressing the empathy factor.
Recognizing the value of adopting green strategies will have visible impacts on the mall’s efficiency and profitability. Del Rosario perceives the environment as foremost among their responsibilities, and whose older brother Paul who is vice-chairman of Mallers Investment Corp., is incorporating green strategies into the heart of their business strategies.
“We are following the Green Building Program set by the local government of Quezon City for our internal and external community, our customer’s convenience and needs, as well as our tenants needs that will partner with us,” he says.
Fisher Mall follows the global standards in the development and operation of the mall, and collaborates with local and international partners to ensure the safety and sustainability of the mall, tenants and immediate community.
But that’s not all. In order to address the needs of their category, Fisher Mall will have an amenity-packed offering – from fashion-forward department store headed by Moleen del Rosario, dining, supermarket, cinemas and an arcade to even chore-like errands of paying one’s bill to conveniences like Wi-Fi in all areas, hotel-like restrooms to driver’s lounges, and easy navigation for customers.
“We keep in mind that these amenities are what drives the customers in more often and longer. This is good business for both the tenants on a long term basis, a win-win situation for both the tenants and us,” Del Rosario adds.
It’s all nod to Fisher Mall, but again, you can’t help but admire the effort. “We are truly serious in our business and we’re here to stay,” he concludes. Fisher Mall is all about accessibility in terms of the brand and the mall in general. Everything you need is located in one place.
Christian Melanie Lee is a freelance social media manager and web developer. She also devoted her time managing her food blog, and music/concert blog. One of the Hootsuite Ambassador for the Philippines since 2014 and currently working as social media manager for the local band, The Itchyworms.
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