Magazines Archives - 2009 June

Handyman braves slowdown to open more stores
Story 12 - News

DESPITE forecasts of continued slowdown — with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicting a 2.3% contraction in the Philippine economic output in the last quarter of this year and a 1% contraction for the whole of 2009 — DIY-chain operator Robinsons Handyman Inc plans to open 10 more Handyman Home Centers countrywide, adding another 4,600sqm of retail space to the existing 50,000sqm.

A joint venture of Gokongweiowned Robinsons Retail Group and hardware wholesaler Herco Trading, the chain has 60 branches.

Stanley Co, general manager of Robinsons Handyman, told RETAIL ASIA that he has yet to identify the sites for the Handyman Home Centers as the company’s expansion strategy is not fixed, opening stores only where it sees locations with good potential.

“It all depends on opportunities,” he said.

Co admitted that the company, like many others providing discretionary goods and services, was already feeling the effects of the global meltdown on sales, although the impact on the bottom line has been muted.

“Change in the buying pattern of customers has already taken place because of the economic crisis, especially for a hardware store as customers can delay the repair of their houses,” he said.

To battle the economic crunch and its impact, the company has put in place a two-pronged strategy. “First, we keep a close watch of the price and quality of our merchandise by maintaining competitive pricing — our prices need not be cheaper but definitely should be on par with others.

“Secondly, we adjust our pro duct mix. Because of the price sensitivity of some products, we have to [broaden] our range” with prices to match so customers can base their merchandise choice on prices acceptable to them, Co revealed.

The first Handyman store in the Philippines opened in 1994 as Robinsons Handyman Home Improvement Center. In 2002, the company became part of US-based Do It Best Corp through a franchising agreement, followed by renaming the group’s outlets Handyman Do It Best Center for the general consumer market. In 2004, the company added to the chain Handyman Do It Center for the construction segment.


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2009 June Stories:

Strategic planning in this crisis - Part 2: Scenario analysis may be the key — implications for Asian retailers

Indonesian central bank paves way for smart cards

FHM 2009 set to whet appetites in hospitality and food-service industries

NRA Show 2009 remains pertinent to industry leaders and professionals

Singapore explores interoperability

Technology weaning consumers off cash in Thailand

Are the benefits worth the investment in the Philippines?

Card popularity soaring in Malaysia

Benefits not without set-backs in India

Manthan Systems - Actionable BI solutions a boon to retailers

FMCG and the recession – how are consumers of food and drink products responding?

Handyman braves slowdown to open more stores

Wendy’s takes a bite of Singapore via Kopitiam

Lim Seng Huat taps on Oracle E-Business Suite to enhance operations

eBay takes majority stake in South Korea’s Gmarket

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