SM’s multiple awards in China hints at the brand’s success formula

Scale model of the SM project in Tianjin.


MANILA – SM, one of Asia’s largest shopping mall operators, is making a mark in China as it chalks up 12 awards, so far, from various groups this year.

SM currently has invested in shopping center projects in eight cities in China, including Xiamen, Jinjiang, Chengdu, Suzhou, Chongqing, Zibo, Tianjin and Yangzhou, seven of which are in operation, making up 950,000 square meters of built-up area.

The awards cover various categories, from executive leadership to marketing and innovation.

Separate awards were given by seven different groups, comprised of China Shopping Center Development Association (China Mall), China Chain Store & Franchise Association (CCFA), Xiamen Commerce Bureau, The Commercial Space Art Alliance of China, International Council of Shopping Centers,, and Xiamen Press Media Group.

Despite the current state of economic slowdown, China remains aggressive in developing more shopping centers, accounting for around 44% of the world’s newly developed shopping malls by April 2015.

To date, there are over 4,000 shopping malls there, with SM staying in the thick of competition by attracting at least 100,000 shoppers a day in its Xiamen outlet alone.

SM’s China Operations Assistant Vice President Ronald Allan Brosas attributes SM’s success to the company’s focused leadership and innovative operational models. Brosas claimed that SM’s record foot traffic of more than 500,000 was achieved because of efficient marketing promotions and activities.

“By positioning ourselves to target the mid-level market, SM maximizes the consumption capability of the middle class. This same positioning also makes us available to high-end customers, inviting to the general market and millennials, practically covering most of the different customer segments,” Brosas explained.

To stay afloat amid the growing popularity of e-commerce over brick-and-mortar retail in China, SM ventured into offering goods that cannot be purchased and enjoyed online.

“We are increasing space for dining, healthcare, entertainment, and other experiential businesses. We will also add improved services for women, elderly, PWDs to enhance their shopping experience. An unforgettable experience for our shoppers is what we are driving at,” Brosas shared.