Puregold Price Club Inc., one of the country’s fastest-growing hypermarket and supermarket chains owned by Filipino-Chinese businessman Lucio Co, is embarking on an aggressive expansion program next year to build 35 new stores including one in Cagayan de Oro City.

In a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Puregold said it is slated to open 15 branches within the first half of 2011. The company has grown significantly since it commenced operations from one store in 1998 to 51 stores in 30 cities as of Sept. 30, 2010 throughout Metro Manila and Luzon.

The existing branch network consists of 38 hypermarkets with an aggregate net selling space of 179,060 square meters, 12 supermarkets under Puregold Junior brand, and one mini-mart called Puregold Extra.

Leveraging on the success of its retail and wholesale model, Puregold intends to establish presence in the largely underserved Visayas and Mindanao markets beginning 2012. Aside from Cagayan de Oro, store openings are planned in Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Leyte, Cebu, Davao City and General Santos City.

In selecting sites for opening its stores, Puregold aims to be the first store in markets that it believes have a high customer potential.

As part of its expansion plan, the company has entered into a total of 20 leasing agreements for its new stores to be opened in 2011 in various parts of the Philippines. These new stores are expected to provide 73,058 square meters of additional net selling space.

Funding for its expansion will come from a planned initial public offering (IPO) estimated to raise up to P11.2 billion.

with article by Zinnia B. Dela Peña of the Philippine Star

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