When you hear of Divisoria, Baclaran and 168, only one thing comes to mind ? budget bulk shopping.
With the Yuletide season fast approaching, everyone is hunting for gifts at bargain prices.
But you don't have to go all the way to Manila to find them because vendors from these shopping centers have already come to Cebu to sell the same products at the 138 Mall in downtown Cebu.
Owned and operated by Ye Sen Fa Development Corp., 138 Mall is located at exactly the same spot previously occupied by Fairmart and Plaza Fair along Colon Street.
According to Jean P. Siacor, administrative officer of the mall, they started operations in December 2008. Since then, a high traffic of people have been going in and shopping at the mall which people now call Cebu's Divisoria.
?On a regular weekday, we have at least 6,000 people coming to our mall and weekends have higher number of people especially now with Christmas nearing,? Siacor said.
The mall opened with only two floors and 40 tenants in 2008. To date, there are already 60 to 70 tenants with three floors as shopping centers while the fourth floor is occupied by admininstrative offices and stock rooms.
Siacor said that it was not difficult to attract people to the mall because the owners made it a point that despite being a bargain center, people still enjoy the amenities of a regular shopping mall with tight security and full-airconditioning for a more convenient shopping.
?Vendors here also allow buyers to bargain and give hefty discounts when you buy in bulk. In fact small stores outside often buy their stocks here,? Siacor said.
With the high traffic, it was also easy to attract major food tenants into their mall which made it even more convenient for people to shop and then eat at the same place.
?Mang Inasal joined us in April last year and Jollibee then followed in November,? she said.
According to Siacor, they also do promotions to add perks to their shoppers like raffle promos.
?February to April are our lean months while from May all the way to January we are at peak and we always have promotions to make the shopping experience more interesting,? she said.
Their latest addition is the third floor which opened just this year. It houses the food court to allow small food vendors to do business in the establishment.
?Aside from the food court we also recently opened our Tianggi sa 138 Mall section which will house an exhibit type of trading and an arcade that will house a game area,? she said.
There are 34 slots in the Tianggi sa 138 Mall which one can rent for only P130 a day.
?We have a lot of tenants in that part already and there are just around nine slots left,? Siacor said.
According to Siacor, the owners plan to expand and open new malls outside of Cebu.
?Maybe we will be expanding to Davao but under a new mall name. For Cebu, we have no planned expansion yet to other locations,? she said.
At 138 Mall, one can buy almost anything from shoes to clothes, perfumes, accessories, home accessories, home appliances, kitchen wares, Christmas decorations, gadgets and many more at very affordable prices.
Most of their tenants offer special wholesale prices for clothes and accessories. Gadgets and silver jewelries are also a big hit in the establishment.
?We make sure we have the right mix of products in the mall so that when one shops here, they don't have to go out anymore because we have everything right under one roof,? Siacor said.
She added that their biggest market are those who own shops of their own and come to their mall to shop for stocks instead of buying them in Manila like they used to do in the past.
?Because of 138 Mall and our tenants who are from those other shopping centers, small businessmen get to save money from transportation and delivery of their goods,? Siacor said.
For December to January, Siacor said shoppers can expect a promotion that will surely ensure only the best shopping experience for all their shoppers.