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S & R PriceSmart - The Costco of the Philippines
Topic Started: Dec 1 2009, 09:28 PM (33,722 Views)
S & R

S&R is the Costco or Sam's Warehouse Club of the Philippines. S&R stands for Sol and Robert Price, the store's founders. I think they were also involved in the creation of Costco in the US. There is definitely a link between S&R and Costco. How do I know this? S&R carries the Kirkland line of products which are only sold at Costco outlets. If you ever been to Costco you will find S&R branches looking very familiar (as if you are in a Costco in the US). Their store/warehouse layout is so much like that of Costco or Sam's. It is also a membership-only warehouse club much like Makro locally, only more high-end. Membership fee is P700 a year. You don't have to go anywhere else to look for stateside goods. Costco has a lot of them, including clothes, electronics (no laptops or desktops here), appliances, automotive stuff (including tires); fresh produce, meats, poultry (even butterball turkey at P1,300), & seafood; vitamins & other health supplements; outdoor furniture, kitchenware, linens, office supplies; wines & liquors; pastries and other baked goods; imported chocolates, drinks and all the other items that Costco sells. It is still cheaper to buy all your stateside pasalubongs in the States. However, if you forgot to buy stuff for some people not in your shopping list, you can buy them at S&R without feeling guilty...hehe...When I found out about this store, I was so surprised & ecstatic. I couldn't believe that such an establishment exists in Pinas. Alas, we are catching up with the U.S. even in small measures. Before I found S&R, our only other choice were the stores in Camp John Hay in Baguio (prices are tagged in dollars there) and the duty-free shops at the airports, in some parts of the metro areas and in Subic (in Subic, no membership card or passport is required to purchase...even Pure Gold, the "pang MASA" supermarket has a duty-free shop there). They also have an eatery inside S&R serving hot dogs, pizza, clam chowder, etc, though prices are not as low as Costco's or Sams'. I remember ordering a tall drink of pop, fries and a polish (or a slice of pizza) for less than $3 at Costco. Costco's low prices are hard to beat.

S&R has branches in Makati, Taguig (5th Ave in Fort Bonifacio), Pasig (on Ortigas Extension), Quezon City (on Congressional Ave; walking distance from EDSA), Paranaque (in Aseana Business Park, Roxas Blvd, Baclaran), Pampanga and Cebu. If I'm not mistaken, they also have a branch in Davao. You can correct me if I am wrong. I might have missed other branches in my list. BTW, their branch in Taguig is not too far from the Market! Market! Mall and just across the new ultra-modern St. Lukes Medical Center, one of the very few hospitals that is JCAHO-accredited in Pinas. That hospital is a branch of St. Lukes Hospital in QC and was aimed at attracting medical tourists to our country. If you have money to blow and you want topnotch medical service, it is the hospital to go to. They have international doctors there and they say that their equipments are more up-to-date or cutting edge than those of 95% of American hospitals. An important caveat when you shop at their Taguig branch, make sure you have your parking ticket validated by the cashier, even if you just went there to eat at their fast food eatery. If you forget to do that, say bye-bye to your P100. A caveat when buying some of their pastries and baked goods, inspect their products thoroughly. You might end up buying moldy pastries which you will only notice when you get home and are about to eat them. Ewwww! Hello enterovirus! They may look good outside but inside they could be disgusting (I've seen some photos of that in an article). Take pictures and show it to their Customer Service to get store credit (since store refund is not allowed in most stores in Pinas - don't know why exactly). Even if you just go to any S&R just to eat, don't forget to bring your membership card because the order-takers at their eatery will ask for it. I don't understand why they do that exactly because you can not get into the building anyway without the card and the eatery is IN THE BUILDING. A big DUH! Can you figure that out?

A curious thing I noticed about S&R: all the check-out people are girls. Coincidence? Is it because Filipino guys are not trustworthy enough? Also, all the girls wear heels! I think for a job that requires you to stand on your feet all day, it is insane to wear heels! Even low ones are insane! I cannot imagine working retail in heels! My hat off to the girls who have to suffer because of such clothing requirement if it is a store-imposed policy.

I love everything else about the store.

They always have some random promo (like you could get a free bucket of candy to sign up). If you plan to only shop there once in a while, you can get a day pass and they will tack an additional 5% to all your purchases.

Each site involves a flat rectangular area measuring approximately 5 acres in order to support a store of about 50,000 sq. ft. and around 300 parking spaces. The locations are situated on main arterial roads with direct access and good visibility. The sites are close to densely populated neighborhoods or commercial centers.

S&R Background: Sol Price (born around 1916) He has been known as a pioneer of the "Warehouse store" retail model. Sol Price launched the first FedMart in 1954 and founded the Price Club in 1976. In 1993 Costco merged with (bought) Price Club. Sharing leadership between Sol Price's biological son, Robert, and his surrogate son, James Sinegal. After just eight months Costco spun off a separate company called Price Enterprises, led by Robert Price. The company evolved into S&R PriceSmart, which operates warehouse clubs outside USA.

LATEST NEWS about S&R: They just got bought out by Pure Gold. I sure hope that's good news.
Edited by Karsie, Aug 1 2012, 07:36 PM.
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S&R used to be called PriceSmart until the Chinese bought out the Americans. They sell a lot of imported goods.
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Is this good news or bad news? I hope it's good news. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Puregold acquiring S&R for P16.5B

MANILA, Philippines - Supermarket chain Puregold Price Club Inc. is acquiring S&R Membership Shopping via a share swap deal worth P16.5 billion.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Puregold said its board has approved a plan to issue a total of 766 million new shares to Kareila Management Corp., the company that owns and operates S&R, at P21.50 per share.

In exchange, Puregold will get 100% of Kareila. Both Puregold and Kareila are owned by the family of Lucio Co.

The deal will allow Puregold, which caters to the affordable market segment, to diversify its consumer base. S&R has six membership stores nationwide serving the AB and upper C markets. S&R has over 214,000 paying members.

"With both the Puregold and S&R stores, the company will have a complete offering of hypermarkets, supermarkets, discount stores and now membership clubs, and will cover the entire spectrum of consumers in the Philippines. In addition, Puregold believes that the acquisition will be earnings accretive in the coming years," the company said.

In 2011, S&R posted revenues of P6.6 billion, up 61% from P4.1 billion in 2010, driven by the full-year operations of its new store in Cebu as well as same store sales growth of about 39%.

Puregold, on the other hand, has over 100 stores nationwide with earnings of P1.54 billion last year, triple their P510.37 million income in 2010.

Puregold earlier said it was embarking on an aggressive expansion program to double its store network by 2015.

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I shop there only because they have things which I can't get anywhere else. However they are very expensive. A pack of Hunt's diced tomatoes, 400g cans, cost more than buying them individually, in Makati Supermarket! And that's on top of the Php700 membership fee.

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No doubt they are expensive because their products are imported and they do have to pay for duties and bribes (ALLEGEDLY...hehe) to our local CUSTOMS people. You don't need to go to S&R to know how prices of imported stuff are jacked up way up. When we were buying a flat screen TV we found out that many of the flat screen TVs sold in our local market cost TWICE as much as the same brands and models of the said item sold here (U.S.). But going back to S&R I have to say that at least we do have an option where we can buy imported products that are not sold anywhere else, di ba? Foreigners/Americans and balikbayans or expats certainly welcome having a COSTCO-like establishment like S&R in Pinas. The P700 membership fee is a little steep if you just go there occasionally but I think they do allow non-members to shop there...they just tack a certain percentage to your total bill in lieu of the membership fee. I thought I read that somewhere. Anyone interested should call them. BTW, I like the pizza that they cook in their kitchen. Yeah, they have an eating area. If you are interested in buying REAL Christmas trees they do sell them but I think you have to reserve one for yourself in advance.
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There's a newly opened huge S&R in Santa Rosa, Laguna next to Solenad Shopping Complex and Nuvali. There's plenty of parking there.
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This is on opening day of S&R in Sta. Rosa :huh:
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Edited by Cory, Apr 29 2014, 09:02 PM.