The first Shopwise outside Manila opened on March 2, 2012, in Cebu. Located along N. Bacalso Ave., Basak San Nicolas, Cebu City, the supermarket is owned and managed by Rustan’s Super Centers, Inc. (RSCI), a member of the Rustan Group of Companies.
What makes Shopwise different from other supermarkets in Cebu? “In a nutshell, Shopwise Cebu offers customers a wide array of quality merchandise at affordable prices, fast and friendly service, and a fun-filled shopping experience,” Frances J. Yu, vice president for marketing, told the media.
Compared to Rustan’s Supermarket, which is the company’s upscale store that offers signature products, Shopwise sells more locally-made merchandise, catering to the middle-income market. Carrying approximately 30,000 products varying from the modern wet market, full-line supermarket and general merchandise, the two-storey hypermarket has a gross floor area of 17,707 square meters.
When you enter Shopwise, you will be greeted by a light, cheerful and roomy ambience. As you move through the store, you will instantly notice its practical layout and spacious aisles that will allow one to easily find what they need. Because it is clean and organized, shopping will indeed be a breeze. Individuals can smoothly buy everything they need and want in one shopping trip while using one shopping cart. They pay for everything once at any of the 18 cash registers. The Shopwise crew ensures that all their customers are served in a fast and pleasant manner.
Having initiated the modern wet market concept inside a supermarket, Shopwise takes pride in letting buyers feel like they are shopping in a clean, open-air market with its wide variety of fresh meat, vegetables and fruits at affordable prices.
Adding to the fresh produce, groceries and wide range of merchandise, Shopwise also offers new meal solutions and food concepts to its shoppers. First, they have the Salad Medley Station where customers can indulge in fresh-cut fruits stored neatly in clear hygienic containers. For fast casual dining, they can have affordable and delicious meals inside the supermarket’s Mongolian Stir-Fry. On the other hand, the Soda Fountain is a fascinating ‘50s style diner that serves mouth-watering burgers, hotdogs and fries.
The hypermart also sells an assortment of home appliances and equipment, as well as trendy clothes, shoes and accessories.
Shopwise promises fun-filled shopping with its regular events and promotions. As an opening treat, Shopwise Cebu customers enjoyed buy-one-take-one offers on selected grocery items and other merchandise from March 2 to 4. The Save Big leaflet that comes out every 10 days is the customers’ guide to the store’s promos.
For shoppers to enjoy freebies, rebates and exclusive offers, Shopwise has a loyalty card called the Wise Card. To join, applicants need to be at least 18 years old. After completely filling out the application form and presenting one valid ID with picture, they have to pay an application fee of Php200 or present accumulated receipts worth Php5,000. Every time a customer earns 10,000 points, they may claim their promo voucher or electronic gift certificate worth Php100.00.
Rustan’s Group first came to Cebu when it opened its department store and supermarket along Mango Avenue in 1881. There are currently two Rustan’s Supermarkets in Cebu, located at the Ayala Center Cebu, and Paseo Arcenas in Banawa.
RCSI was founded in 1998, during the peak of the Asian economic crisis. Aiming to make the well-known Rustan’s more reachable to the middle and working class, the Rustan Group developed a discount-retailing section through an adapted European-style hypermart they called Shopwise. Its mission is “to create a chain of supercenters or hypermarkets, which is the most preferred one-stop shop destination for fulfilling the basic needs of the Filipino family.”
Rustan’s move to branch out into hypermarkets was inspired by three essential changes taking place in the Philippine market: (1) a growing middle class, (2) rising value awareness of diverse income levels, and (3) new geographical market prospects that Rustan’s believes are best served through discount retailing operations. Since the opening of the first Shopwise in Filinvest Alabang in November 1998, RCSI currently has a total of 10 hypermarkets.
After the opening of Shopwise in Basak, the company plans to open at least three more hypermarkets in three years here in Metro Cebu. Some potential locations include Mactan, Mandaue, at the South Road Properties (SRP) and in the northern and southern parts of Cebu. For those interested, putting up a single Shopwise store costs about Php300 million.