Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The new owner of the high-end membership store chain PriceSmart, the one patterned after Price Club and Costco in the United States, is also the group that owns another store chain called Pure Gold.

The main figure behind Pure Gold of course is Lucio Co, who in the early 1990s started the retail chain as duty-free stores in the former US bases Subic and Clark.

In acquiring PriceSmart, however, Pure Gold must be trying to ride on its phenomenal success in Metro Manila, where it opened at least 10 huge stores in the past few years, catering mostly to the middle market, choosing to carry "imported" but still affordable items.

Now, why did William Go, who owned PriceSmart, choose to sell to Pure Gold?

Actually, first to go to the negotiating table with William Go was the SM group of mall operator Henry Sy. The deal between William Go and the Sy family fell through.

Lucio Co beat the SM group to the deal because he gave William Go a much better offer. I heard that it was all a matter of "pricing."

As for the existing members of PriceSmart, which seemed to have run out of good merchandise, Pure Gold can surely bring in a wider selection of imported goods. Lucio Co certainly has established a track record in Pure Gold.
By Conrado R. Banal III --- Inquirer


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