The country’s lar­gest conglomerate, SM Investments Corp. (SMIC), has vowed to emerged stronger from the current coronavirus pandemic using a “hybrid” strategy of using both physical and digital infrastructure to reach quarantine-weary consumers.

During SMIC’s stockholders meeting yesterday, company president Frederic Dybuncio quoted the group’s late founder, Henry Sy Sr., as saying: “In good times we do our usual work, in bad times, we work harder.”

SMIC vice chair Teresita Sy-Coson said: “The pandemic has made us even more aware of two important things for our customer: convenience and safety and for ourselves, adaptability and transformation.”

“We have been improving our online and physical experience and operations across the group … And coming from this lockdown, we were able to operate a hybrid way of reaching our customers,” she said.

Sy-Coson said the group would “transform into a stronger and more adaptive SM after this crisis.”

In his management report, DyBuncio said the group had been investing in digital infrastructure. It launched online shopping platform “Shop SM.”

SMIC sets its e-commerce strategies both as a direct participant and as a service provider, he said.

“As a direct participant, we have our own online shopping sites, and we also have our stores in several e-commerce platforms,” he said.

“As a service provider, we use our physical presence from malls and stores as pickup locations for Click & Collect,” he said.

Click & Collect is the group’s free in-store pickup option.

“For e-commerce, we also provide logistics support and last-mile delivery using logistics companies that we own,” DyBuncio said.

“We provide a digital payment network through our banks and e-wallet service” he said.

SMIC declared cash dividends worth P5.1 billion or P4.25 per share, payable on July 23 to stockholders on record as of July 9.


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