Shrugging off two years of Covid-19 hibernation, Filipinos are back in shopping malls with restrictions and coronavirus cases subsiding.
SM Prime president Jeffrey Lim said visits to its malls are within striking distance of pre-pandemic levels during weekends as people are feeling more confident about going out.
“We believe that even if we are not able to reach pre-pandemic level before the end of the year, we should at least target between 80 and 90 percent of that level so we are optimistic about our prospects for 2022,” Lim said.
For this year, SM Prime has earmarked P80 billion for the construction of new malls and residential projects as well as for land acquisition.
The integrated property developer will open three more malls — SM City Tuguegarao, SM City Sorsogon, and SM City Tanza in Cavite —following the opening of SM City Roxas in April. The malls to be opened this year will add around 300,000 square meters of gross floor area.
SM Prime ended 2021 with a total of 78 malls, of which 40 percent is located in Metro Manila, 39 percent in Luzon (excluding NCR), 12 percent in Visayas and nine percent in Mindanao.
In China, it has seven malls with a total GFA of 1.3 million square meters. Construction for the expansion of SM Xiamen and SM Yangzhou has already started.