MerryMart: Your friendly ka-barangay

Tycoon Edgar “Injap” Sia II surely knows how to give back. As someone who received help and support from big businesses when he was starting, the Mang Inasal founder, knows how to help small businesses. 

His MerryMart Consumer Corp. has been  helping sari-sari stores nationwide survive the changing business landscape by aiding them in transforming their tindahans into mini marts.

This is to help them compete with the many modern convenience stores that are sprouting in the neighborhoods and communities of Metro Manila.

It’s a welcome move and certainly in stark contrast to the practice of the many mammoth branded grocery chains of just gobbling or displacing these small stores.

MerryMart’s program helps the smaller sari-sari stores that have little capital to upgrade their storefronts. They are losing their market share to the bigger and more modern convenience stores.

As such, MerryMart launched the MM Wholesale Ka-Barangay Mini-Mart program that will enable them to transform their sari-sari stores into mini-mart, said Sia, chairman of MerryMart.

In a recent chat, Sia explained that the program includes providing financial literacy and other business educational courses to store owners so they enhance their skills.

This would help them better manage and operate their mini-marts, thereby significantly increasing their overall household income.

Since July 2023, the program has partnered with more than 1,000 sari-sari store owners.

100th STORE

MerryMart has reached a milestone for the program, announcing this week that MM Wholesale has reached its 100th sari-sari store transformation.

Thus, since launching the program, MM Wholesale has helped transform 100 sari-sari stores into mini-marts.

Sia, chairman of MerryMart said this would enable them to compete and thrive thus retaining and enhancing their household livelihood income.

“We have been observing and studying in detail the Sari-Sari store industry around the country, and we believe that the true long term solution for these hundreds of thousands of sari-sari stores to thrive is to transform and become a mini-mart. From doing the selling of items from a small hole in their window, they transform to become a grocery mini-mart where their customers or ‘suki’ can now enter their ‘tindahan,’ just like the set-up of their branded and modern mini-mart competitors that recently opened near their sari-sari stores,” Sia said.

He said MM Wholesale funds the expansion and transformation of these stores. The sari-sari stores then source their products from Merry Mart Wholesale and other wholesale sources.

In all, MM Wholesale App now has over 180,000 registered users helping the MerryMart Group grow and reach its P120 billion system-wide annual revenue goal by 2030.

MerryMart has different formats namely MerryMart Express, MerryMart Market, MerryMart Grocery, MM Wholesale.

Sia, who started as a provincial entrepreneur, knows the struggle of growing one’s business.

“I personally have been an SME provincial entrepreneur not so long ago, and I feel for the sari-sari stores who are struggling to compete with the modern branded mini-marts sprouting around them,” Sia said.