The grocery has been one of the most frequented places during the long quarantine months brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. As everyone needed a place where they could buy food and other essentials
So it took extra effort on the part of Alfamart, to make sure that they are able to service their communities without endangering their employees.
As early as March, when the ECQ was first implemented, Alfamart began reassigning its employess to nearby stores to help them go to work much easier, after learning that one of their employees had to walk 3 hours just to get to work.
That employee dedication and the support of the country’s first supermart chain was the reason why despite the challenges and restrictions, Alfamart Philippines was able to reach a new milestone as it opened its 1000th branch– in just six years.
Employees and managers of Alfamart Philippines opened their 1000th store in Barangay Santiago, General Trias, Cavite in a simple celebration. Amid the modest festivities, however, every person is feeling satisfaction that they can express only with joyful eyes, as their respective masks hide their smile.
The scene above essentially mirrors the journey of Alfamart, the first and only Super Minimart chain in the Philippines, in achieving their 1000-store milestone amid a global pandemic. It was a journey of many successes that are humbly accepted as challenges to continue working and to always do better.
Alfamart Philippines COO Harvey Ong recalled when they opened the first ever Alfamart in the neighboring city of Trece Martires, Cavite back in 2014. “It’s almost as if we’ve gone full circle,” he remarked. “We are thankful for the customers who support us and the communities we served. We were only able to achieve these milestones because of them,” he continued.
The employees themselves expressed their happiness and satisfaction, not just with reaching the 1000-store milestone, but also with how Alfamart has treated them in general. “The milestone represents the dedication [of Alfamart] to provide service to communities, especially during the pandemic,” said Zeus Cuenca, an Alfamart Shift Leader at the Mambog 1, Bacoor, Cavite branch. “The fact that we are providing a necessary service to 1000 communities makes us really see the impact and value of our work,” he expounded.
Jessica Maniago, a newly hired Logistics Assistant at Alfamart’s Mexico, Pampanga distribution center, expressed admiration about Alfamart’s hiring during the pandemic. “Many companies had to let go of people [during the pandemic]. But, in the case of Alfamart, instead of retrenching, we hired, so we could give opportunities to those who need them,” she said.
Alfamart also values its partnerships with small businesses. They consign and carry many brands like Bakeshop16 and DECS. These brands have built a loyal customer base in their respective cities, but through partnering with Alfamart, they were able to reach new markets by having access to their 1000 stores. Alfamart also subleases their extra space to SMEs like Express Clean, a self-service laundry shop, which was able to expand to seven branches through their partnership with the Super Minimart.
Ong further explained how keeping themselves rooted to their advocacy of developing communities and growing with them is important as they move forward. “The 1000 store milestone is not by any means a ‘finish line’, he said. “It is the start of bigger opportunities to grow with everyone we encounter—our employees, our business partners, our communities, and everyone else who relies on Alfamart,” he concluded.For more information on Alfamart Philippines, please visit https://www.alfamart.com.ph/.