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PriceSmart at 4
PriceSmart pioneered the membership warehouse shopping concept, and
countless countries, including the Philippines, are now benefiting from
this retailing concept.
PSMT Philippines, Inc., the local subsidiary of PriceSmart, Inc. was
one of the pioneers that brought the warehouse club concept to the country.
It is now 4 years old in the Philippine market and growing strong.
Sol Price, the founder of PriceSmart, fueled the growth of his company
under a retailing concept where both business and household members could
take advantage of pooled buying power to obtain the best possible prices on
merchandise. This revolutionary retail shopping concept, introduced 20
years ago by Price, brought about genuine empowerment of consumers
through better prices, quality goods, and the highest standards of service.
"It's Sol, the founder and public face of Price Club for two decades,
who inspired Sam Walton to create Wal-Mart and Sam's Club", according to an
article in the US-based Union Tribune. In his 1992 autobiography, "Made
in America", Walton wrote, "I guess I've stolen - I actually prefer the
word 'borrowed' - as many ideas from Sol Price as from anybody else in the
business". Today, the Philippines benefits from that shopping concept
directly from the very people who started it all.
A visit to any of the four PriceSmart outlets, namely, Fort Bonifacio,
Congressional Avenue, Alabang, and Baclaran will yield unique products
that one would not ordinarily find in other shops locally.
Its range of products goes beyond those that one would ordinarily find
in other retail outlets. "We have products that satisfy the day-to-day
requirements of housekeeping and the specialized needs of shoppers who
may be looking for unique finds", according to Ben Woods, PriceSmart
Philippines President. "PriceSmart is essentially a meeting of practicality and
sophistication -- qualities that are reflected in the kind of
products we sell and the pricing that our members enjoy."
PriceSmart offers the US-style shopping experience. The warehouse, for
example, looks and feels like the warehouse clubs in the US - bright,
clean, air-conditioned, safe and with big aisles for big shopping carts. The
way its warehouses are designed allows for comfort and convenience. There
are no long queues at the registrars nor are there hassles on parking as
every warehouse provides free parking to all its shoppers. "These are
benefits for shoppers we do not compromise since we want our members to enjoy
the unique and unparalleled PriceSmart shopping experience", Woods said.
A lot of surprises await shoppers, given that seventy percent of the
products they sell are unique imported items, many of which shoppers
can only acquire at PriceSmart. A right combination of merchandising items
at the right price abound at PriceSmart -- from appliances, Italian
cooking sets, imported housewares, motoring requirements, imported dry and wet
food items, luggage sets, imported multivitamins, toiletries, and
specialized equipment or gadget such as foot spa, nebulizers, digital cameras, rice
cookers, digital video players, projection TV, and even computers.
The value of PriceSmart shopping, however, does not stop there. It
offers low- priced quality products everyday, which can result to substantial
savings for households. One can realize savings of as high as 85%
savings for every product that they buy at PriceSmart vis-à-vis comparable or
the same products they may source from other outlets.
A 1.6 kg powdered detergent can be bought for P148.35 at PriceSmart,
while a comparable product in other retail establishments costs P203.25, easily
translating into a 27% savings for the buyer. A pack of iced tea (1kg)
costs only P77.95 at PriceSmart, while a comparable product costs
P109.50 in other outlets, translating into a savings of P31.55 or 29% per pack.
Other products, like a 20 kg adult dog food, costing P1,464 in the market,
costs only P659 at PriceSmart, affording the PriceSmart buyer a 55% savings.
Other US-made products abound at PriceSmart, all of which you can get
at the best lowest possible prices. Act II Butter Lover's Popcorn (28 ct),
for instance, costs only P469.95 at PriceSmart, compared to P852.13 in
other outlets, which easily translates to a savings of 45%. Splenda Sweetener
(700ct) costs only P1,094.95, whereas the same can be acquired for
P1,822.80 from other sources, generating a savings of 40%. Extra Virgin Oil
(P669.95 for 2 li), Vitamin D / Calcium Supplements, Kellogs Pop Tarts (P489.95
for a box of 36 ) - can also be purchased at PriceSmart at the best value,
generating comparative savings of between 24% to 81% for the
Multivitamins, which are becoming more in demand nowadays, is a
must-buy at PriceSmart. Costing only P699.95 (500ct) per bottle at PriceSmart, or
P1.39 per capsule, this best buy translates into an ultimate shopper's dream
of getting the maximum value for every centavo spent. A comparable item
in other outlets cost an average of P4.95 per capsule or a price
differential of P3.56 per capsule - easily a 72% savings per capsule or 253% savings
The benefits of PriceSmart shopping are not solely defined by the
competitive prices and quality of its products, but also extend to the
periodic "treasure hunts" for new items in the market. These "unique
finds" are much awaited and PriceSmart members are constantly on the look out
for these as they normally have very short shelf life due to its high
demand from shoppers. One shopper quips, "The moment you see these unique
finds, get it, cause you might not have the chance to see them again tomorrow.
These items sell like hot potatoes".
PriceSmart shoppers would normally come to the warehouses looking for
these products as part of their shopping wish list. Some of the items
included in the "treasure hunt" of late include the Mac Sport Chairs which are best
gadgets for outdoor activities such as in the beach and in picnic
parks; Nautilus Multi-position complete workout Bench; Fiesta 35 BTU Gas
Barbecue Grill with Tank; fully automatic Blood Pressure Wrist Monitor;
country-style Kitchen Cart with 2 Bar Stools; "no tools required" - Sportcraft
Billiard table; Classic Sport Soccer Table; 26 HP Motorized Riding Lawn Tractor;
GE Wine Cooler for 26 bottles with chrome fittings and double glass door;
just to mention a few.
At 4, PriceSmart is planning to further expand the reach of its
business and spread the benefits of PriceSmart shopping through a series of
membership campaigns. These include opening up the doors of PriceSmart for
non-members for trial shopping during open house; loyalty program for pioneering
and existing members; special events to further bring out the much-touted
PriceSmart personalized care for its members and shoppers; specially
designed activities for children; among others.
Savings, convenience, quality imported products at the best possible
low prices - - these are PriceSmart's commitments to its members. These
are benefits which PriceSmart hopes to share with a greater number of
Filipinos as part of the PriceSmart shopping community. Sharing the benefits of
PriceSmart membership shopping cannot come at a more opportune time.
"At a time like this when prices of commodities are rising, everyone needs
options for acquiring basic necessities at prices that will allow us to work
within our budget. Getting quality goods at low prices is not impossible even
at this time of rising prices. PriceSmart helps re-define quality of life
and allows members to enjoy the value of PriceSmart shopping", Woods said.
PriceSmart, headquartered in San Diego, owns and operates U.S.-style
membership shopping warehouse clubs in Central America, the Caribbean,
and Asia, selling high quality merchandise at low prices to PriceSmart
PriceSmart now operates 26 warehouse clubs in 12 countries and one U.S.
territory (four each in Panama and the Philippines; three in Costa
Rica; two each in Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and
Trinidad; and one each in Aruba, Barbados, Jamaica, Nicaragua and the United
States Virgin Islands).
PriceSmart was the first company to take advantage of the
liberalization of the retail trade industry in year 2001, introducing in the Philippines
the concept of warehouse shopping that has revolutionized retail all around
the world, bringing high-quality, low-priced goods every day to its
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