ILOILO City – With the Ilonggo’s innate love for food and dining – coupled with the city’s improved purchasing power – Iloilo’s food and beverage sector is the main driver of retail growth in the region, according to a study by real estate consulting firm Colliers International.

With higher Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFW) remittances, business process outsourcing employment, and tourist spending in Iloilo City, many Ilonggos have embraced eating out and retail therapy as part of their lifestyle, spurring new growth among businesses in the developing metropolis.

Over the past nine months alone, six new neighborhood malls have opened in Iloilo, as more and more mall chains tap into the growing purchasing power of the region.

These are Robinsons Place in Jaro; CityMall in Parola; Festive Walk Parade Phase 1 in Iloilo Business Park; and Plazuela Dos, SM City Southpoint, and City Time Square along the busy Benigno Aquino Avenue in Mandurriao. The new retail outlets added some 62,000 square meters of leasable space to Iloilo’s retail stock.

Restaurants and other food retail outlets, comprised of both home-grown and foreign brands, occupy at least 25 percent of Iloilo’s retail space. This is mainly attributed to Ilonggos’ fondness for food, according to Colliers International research manager Joey Roi Bondoc in their second quarter provincial property report.

Colliers expects an additional 98,000 square meters of retail space to be added to the city’s stock between 2018 and 2019, with the completion of Megaworld’s Festive Walk Mall Phases 1 and 2, Double Dragon’s CityMall Pavia, Vista Land’s Vista Mall in Savannah City, and Robinsons Place Pavia.

The international real estate consulting firm also cited Pavia – a second class municipality – as slowly emerging as an attractive location for retail development./PN


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