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Puregold enters Cebu, takes over former Fooda Saversmart locations

Work is ongoing on the new Puregold Mango, which will open at the site of the defunct Fooda Saversmart on Gen. Maxilom (Mango) Ave., Cebu City. (Ventures Cebu)

Supermarket chain Puregold Price Club, Inc. entered the Cebu market without much fanfare, opening three stores in the last two months and working on four additional stores.

Puregold is taking over the former sites of Fooda Saversmart, which shut down permanently in September 2021. This marks the company's initial foray into the lucrative Central Visayas region.

In a disclosure several months after Fooda's closure, Puregold said it will fully acquire Melilla Management Corp., which holds seven leasehold rights in Cebu Province.

"These properties were initially used in operating supermarkets. Thus, these properties are to be future sites for Puregold," the company said. Puregold did not indicate that the properties had hosted the Fooda Saversmart branches.

The company opened the first Puregold store in Cebu at the former Fooda location in Talisay City on Nov. 4, 2022. This was followed by Puregold Kasambagan, another former Fooda location, on Dec. 21, 2022, and by Puregold Guadalupe, also a former Fooda branch, on Jan. 12, 2023.

The supermarket chain said it acquired Melilla's shares at a price "below 10% of the company's total book value."

Puregold has been operating in Cebu through its wholly owned subsidiary Kareila Management Corp., which owns and operates the S&R membership warehouses and quick service restaurants.

As of September 2022, Puregold has a total of 513 stores across the country, including 443 Puregold stores, 22 S&R warehouses, and 48 S&R New York-style quick service restaurants.

In a previous disclosure, the company said it was targeting a 15% increase in pace for new Puregold stores and more provincial areas by the end of 2023. More than 70% of the new stores would be located in provincial areas. (Marites Villamor-Ilano)

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