Sales Rise at Three Pioneering “Suking Tindahan” in Marikina
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Customers flocked to the three pioneering “Suking Tindahan” stores inside the Marikina Public Market after learning from news reports on print and television that they are selling their products -- mostly food items that households consume – at affordable prices that fit into the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) suggested retail prices (SRP).
Jennifer Laqui, who owns Noel and Jenny Store, said sales rose by around 20 percent per day after the DTI launched the project in the public market located at Brgy. Sta. Elena on August 15, covered by the country’s major newspapers and TV stations. The launching was led by Mayor Marcy Teodoro and DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.
“Dumami ang namimili. Kasi napanood nila sa TV. Kinabukasan, sabi ng mga namimili, ito nga raw ang tindahan na nafeature sa TV. Kaya ayun dito sila na namimili. Tumaas ang benta namin ng mga 20 percent,” said Jennifer in an interview inside her store.
Jennifer said even before her store became part of the Suking Tindahan program of the DTI, she made it a point to sell canned goods, soy sauce, sugar, coffee and other prime commodities and basic necessities at affordable prices. For instance, she said she sells her canned sardines at P15.20 each, way below the P18 to P19 selling price at some neighborhood sari-sari stores.
“Siyempre kung malapit lang naman ang bahay mo dito sa palengke, dito ka na bibili di ba? Minsan kais ang taas ng patong ng ibang mga sari-sari store,” Jennifer said.
Noel and Jenny Store is one of the three pioneering Suking Tindahan along with Francing Store and Lacson Grocery. During the launching of the program, the DTI put up the Suking Tindahan seals in front of their stores so that the consumer will know right away that they are selling their products within the SRP.
Even if the interviews with the owners of the three stores were held at lunch time, considered a downtime since most homes were already done shopping for their needs for the day, there were still a number of consumers buying at these stores and the interviews were sometimes interrupted as they have to attend to them.
Compete with Groceries
Ted Dimaranan of Francing Store echoed Jennifer’s statement about the rise in sales that she experienced after becoming a Suking Tindahan.
“Dumami ang namili. Siyempre nalaman nila na isa kami sa Suking Tindahan ng DTI, na-curious sila. Kaya pumunta sila. Nagtatanong, tapos mamimili. Nakita nga daw nila sa news sa TV,” said Ted, who was also interviewed by a TV news reporter during the launching of the program on August 15.
Ted explained that even if the profit margins were smaller, the try to sell their products within the SRP because they have to compete with their bigger rivals, the grocery stores.
“Hindi naman kailangang malaking-malaki ang tubo. Kailangang masabayan mo ang mga presyo sa mga grocery. Mababa ang presyo sa grocery dahil may volume discount at may display allowance ang mga iyan,” Ted said in an interview in his store.
Julie Lacson of Lacson Grocery said she is hoping that more consumers will be lured to patronize the Suking Tindahan stores, one of the reasons why she joined the program.
“I’m hoping na mas makikilala pa kami ng mas nakararami. Hindi lang sa area namin ng Sta. Elena kundi sa ibang lugar din sa Marikina,” Julie said. “Sa ngayon, na-no-notice ng mga mamimili na may seal kami ng DTI kaya alam nilang ang mga presyo namin ay mababa. So iyon (DTI seal) ang hinahanap nila tuwing namimili sila rito."
Helping Typhoon Victims
The launching of the program coincided with the DTI’s special monitoring of prices and supply at the public market, days after tropical storm “Karding” flooded some parts of the city and caused the Marikina River to swell to 20.4 meters, a few meters shy of the 23 meters reached during typhoon Ondoy in 1999, which devastated Marikina and other parts of the country.
In an interview inside her store, Julie said she sympathized with the victims of Karding, some of them sought temporarily shelters at the evacuation centers since their homes were flooded. This is the reason why she kept her prices affordable.
“Sa akin kasi ang talagang dahilan ay upang makatulong ka. Dumaan kasi kami sa bagyo at baha dito sa Marikina. Every time may sakunang ganoon, iyon ang way upang makatulong ka sa kapwa mo na taga-Marikina. Wag mong taasang ang presyo. Nabiktima na iyan ng sakuna, nabaha na, tapos mamahalan mo pa ang presyo ng paninda mo na kakainin nila. Bakit hindi mo pa ibigay sa tamang presyo sa kanila. Para makatulong ka na rin,” she said.
Meanwhile, Ma. Lourdes "Lou" Dela Paz, officer-in-charge of the Trade and Industry Office of Marikina, said she is hoping that more stores in Marikina would join the program.
"Magandang feedback iyan na talagang hinahanap sila ng mga tao. At hinahanap ang seal ng DTI. Iyon naman ang purpose ng DTI iyong i-patronize iyong mga tindahang kasali sa program," she said in an interview inside her office at the Marikina Sports Center.
"Sana nga marami pang sumali sa program. Gusto din ng DTI na madagdagan pa ang bilang ng Suking Tindahan. According to them, hindi lang itong tatlong stores na ito sa public market ang na-inspection. May mga na-inspect din sila sa ibang barangay dito sa Marikina," Lou said.
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