Malling, shopping now integral part of Filipino lifestyle: SM Prime study

·Contributor
·2 min read
Shoppers walk past a logo of Philippine's largest shopping mall operator ShoeMart (SM) in one of their stores in Manila on February 17, 2012. A recent study showed that malling and shopping have become an integral part of the Filipino lifestyle. (Photo credit: TED ALJIBE/AFP via Getty Images)
Shoppers walk past a logo of Philippine's largest shopping mall operator ShoeMart (SM) in one of their stores in Manila on February 17, 2012. A recent study showed that malling and shopping have become an integral part of the Filipino lifestyle. (Photo credit: TED ALJIBE/AFP via Getty Images)

Shopping and "malling" are now an integral part of the Filipino lifestyle, says a new study.

SM Prime, which owns the SM Supermalls chain, said that foot traffic in its malls has seen a more than twofold increase since before the pandemic, proof that malls are a place of convergence for Filipinos to relax and mingle with their friends and loved ones.

"Despite e-commerce, brick and mortar spaces will always have a compelling value and relevance for the Filipino shopper," said SM Store Executive Vice President for Operations and Sales Support, Dhinno S. Tiu in a press release.

Tiu noted that many Filipinos treat shopping as a form of therapy and entertainment, especially in uncertain times. "People will always go shopping to feel good about everything that is going on."

He noted that the way Filipinos shop has evolved, with most comfortable with using technology to shop, citing convenience and consideration of safety. This has kickstarted economic activity and a revival of livelihood for Filipinos across the country.

Tiu added that the strong performance of the Philippine retail industry in the first half of 2022 is more than enough proof that shopping has significant space in the psyche of Filipino consumers, and retail spaces like malls are the go-to community spaces for Filipino shoppers.

"Beyond the purchase of life’s necessities, malls have evolved into a hub that serves as the modern-day plaza center for communities all over."

In April, SM Investments said the company will still develop its online retail platform even when mall traffic has increased since the start of the year.

​​Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.

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