SPOTLIGHT  


Come Home To SM Home

by Margie T. Logarta


Asuncion Yap,
Senior Vice President of SM Home
When SM – the Philippines’ leading mall and department store specialist – brandishes the bouncy jingle “We’ve got it all for you”, it really means to live up to this boast. Its SM Home features such an extensive product portfolio of modern furnishings and home accessories that most customers have been content to stay put, instead of browsing elsewhere, and load up on the goods.

EVOLUTION
Beginning as the 1950s popular shoe store chain, Shoemart, the company, founded by Fujian native Henry Sy, changed its name to SM in the 1970s when morphing into a department store. Then, residential furniture and necessities went on display at a section called SM Home Center.

As SM preeminently grew to be the largest chain of department stores in the Philippines, Home Center likewise received an overwhelming response from its customers. Prompted by the need to create a separate team to manage and control its operations, it was then recognized as an affiliate of SM on April 6, 1992, officially named as Homeworld Shopping Corporation.

In 2014, due to emerging trends where Homeworld felt the need of leverage for its overall identity, it was re-branded as SM Home on August 1. Today, SM Home, a one-stop home shop for Storage and Organizers, Furniture, Kitchenware, Glassware, Linen, and Décor items for the modern home, is found in all SM department stores all over the country.

6-P PRINCIPLE (or PRINCIPLES OF SUCCESS) What hasn’t changed, according to senior vicepresident, Asuncion Yap, is SM’s original goal of “being a one-stop shop for all home needs, carrying items that are basic, contemporary and affordable”. SM Home consists of six sections: Furniture, Linen, Décor, Kitchenware, Tableware and Storage and Organisers.

Riding on SM’s 58 malls across the Philippine archipelago, SM Home enjoys the advantage of visibility. Display space varies from store to store, ranging from a minimum of 500sqm to a maximum of 2,000 sqm. The brand, however, has yet to surface in the company’s six malls in China, which are located in Xiamen, Chengdu, Suzhou, Jin Jiang and Zibo. Hoping to a build a larger customer base, the www.smhome.com.ph was set up, while selected items are carried by the German e-commerce site Lazada.

Asuncion Yap, SM Home’s top executive, says their mission ethic is guided by six P’s:

Product, which means a wide assortment that’s updated monthly and includes known and trusted brands.

Pricing strategy that is competitive and offers value-for-money.

Place that allows accessibility, which SM Malls provide, thanks to their location in practically all major Philippine business and lifestyle hubs. Displays are to be well stocked, visually appealing and customer friendly.

Beautiful Vases on Display

Cooking Appliances from TEFAL

Lighting and decor area
Promotion in various media platforms, informing buyers of what is available.

People always place top of mind priority.

Personnel who make sure they furnish the public good service, complete knowledge of the product line and integrity while serving.

REACHING THE MARKET
Much like an SM department store, now branded as “The Store”, SM Home attracts an extensive customer palette identified by Yap as “from ages 21 and above, male and female, single and married and from the socio-economic status A to upper C”.

With such an extensive market base that has grown increasingly conscious about stylish living, SM Home has spared no effort to use a vast array of communication tools such as above the line advertising, covering traditional print media such as broadsheets and magazines, radio, and collaterals including POPs, posters, flyers and catalogues; below the line advertising; and techonology driven platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, website advertising and Search Engine Optimisation among other unavoidable options.

A customer service hotline rounds up its menu of promotional strategies.

A TASTE FOR STYLE
“Basic and contemporary” pretty much sums up the tastes of today’s Filipino consumers – many of whom have taken up condo living – Yap reports. Which is what SM merchandisers look for when perusing through the wares of local suppliers and those in China, the US and Europe. SM Home created its own line, Hosh, while also carrying established brands including product lines from the UK’s John Lewis department store.

After purchase assistance also forms an essential detail of the SM experience, Yap hastens to add. For that, a customer hotline, delivery, refund and exchange services are available.

SM promises to continue to have it all – generations of Filipino customers have come to expect no less.