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SM eyes grocery delivery service 

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SM Investments Corp. plans to develop a grocery delivery service, banking on the growth of e-commerce amid the quarantines imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease.

According to SM president and chief executive officer Frederic DyBuncio, efforts are now underway for third-party delivery services.

"We also are working with several partners to develop our grocery delivery service particularly at this time," he said during the company's virtual annual stockholders' meeting. He did not elaborate.

Data released by the central bank showed that the e-payment transactions grew by over 250% in terms of volume in April, the first full month of the enhanced community quarantine.

"I think as far as the entire SM Group is concerned, we can look at our e-commerce initiative and strategy in two areas - one as a direct participant, and the other one as a service provider," said DyBuncio.

As a direct participant, SM has its own online shopping sites, and its stores are also available in other e-commerce platforms. Meanwhile, as a service provider, its malls and stores serve as pickup locations, and it also provides logistics support such as warehousing.

SM's retail brands include The SM Store, SM Supermarket, SM Hypermarket, SaveMore, Walter Mart Supermarket, and Alfamart.

"We have been improving our online and physical experience in operations across the group, from the banking to the retail to the mall to the property. Coming from this lockdown, we were able to operate a hybrid way of reaching our customers," SM vice chairperson Teresita Sy said in the meeting.

"We are excited to strengthen this new offering, and going forward we will transform into a stronger and more adaptive SM after this crisis," she added.

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