Home improvement continues despite high inflation, pandemic: Wilcon

·2 min read
A customer being assisted at the design hub of home improvement company Wilcon. (Photo: Wilcon website)
A customer being assisted at the design hub of home improvement company Wilcon. (Photo: Wilcon website)

Despite rising costs and the pandemic, Filipinos continue to spend on home improvement, Wilcon Senior Executive Vice President Rosemari Ong said in a program on June 17.

According to the retail executive, consumers are “resilient” and have continued to transact with different sectors despite high inflation rates.

“Some have stayed down because of high inflation, but by and large, the economy is now back in shape, specific to the construction and home improvement industry. So far we had good showings during the first and the second quarter,” the Wilcon executive said.

Asked on their production status, Ong said that more than 80% of their products are imported while for the locally sourced products, 50% are in-house or market-labeled brands.

Ong bared in the interview that the competitive pressure to be more resilient led to a change of tactics when it comes to the supply chain and to secure the production line. Moreover, Ong underscored that 2022 remains positive for construction and home improvement activities due to the easing of quarantine restrictions.

Struggles in the business sector and consumers also intensify as the country tallies record high inflation rate at 5.4% as per the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) report on June 7.

Ong, who also heads the Philippine Retail Association, highlighted the case-to-case effects of inflation on different sectors. According to the executive, some sectors would pass the costs of inflation “on some level” depending on how much the market can absorb, while Wilcon averages the cost.

Since the start of the pandemic, several businesses in the country have filed for bankruptcy, while some sectors of the business industry report major challenges due to restrictions and problems in the supply chain.

Meanwhile, Wilcon has fared well and reached its targets despite the global health crisis. According to a top executive, the home improvement retailer is on track to open its 100th store by 2025.

“We are well on our way to reach our 100 stores by 2025 target. We opened an unprecedented 10 stores in 2021, nine depots and one smaller format, Home Essentials. We have completely deployed our IPO funds in the first quarter of 2021 but have kept the company bank debt-free,” Wilcon president Lorraine Belo-Cincochan said.

Basti Evangelista is a news and opinion writer who focuses on Philippine national politics and sectoral issues. His personal advocacy includes press freedom and social justice.

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