Business boom hits Ilocos Norte area

LAOAG CITY, Dec. 06 — The stingy Ilocano’s spending habits will be put to a test when new business ventures open as the Christmas shopping season begins.

A number of commercial stores are set to open in the province this month.

The Savemore Market announced the grand opening of its newest branch in downtown Laoag on December 13. It will replace the 5-Sisters’ Superstore, city’s oldest-running shopping center.

Savemore is SM Supermarket’s stand-alone, independent neighborhood store offering the convenience of a first-class indoor wet market, groceries and general merchandise store.

Not to be outdone, the provincial government built a two-storey commercial complex right beside the provincial capitol housing a variety of businesses from food, coffee shops and gift gallery.

Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos will lead the opening of the La Tabacalera complex on December 9.

(On Dec. 5, 2011, Me Shopping Center, owned by proprietor Maria Christina Ang Tan, formally opened business. Housed in a newly-built two-storey building, Me is being patronized by many shoppers who go for quality goods at reasonable prices. Me is located along Abadilla St. Brgy. 16, Laoag City, just east of the city public market. Meanwhile, Brgys. San Pablo and Bingao, San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte near the Ilocos Norte 2nd Engineering District of DPWH are fast becoming a commercial zone of the province. Through the business acumen and prowess of the Guillermo and Ulep families, several business establishments had emerged in this area such as the Coral Sand Lumber and Construction Supply, Angel (formerly Gelly’s Sidecar Maker) Metal Craft , Semonette Grocery Store, Exponent Gasoline Station. two big warehouses for Manila-based traders and several other businesses.–Editor).

Waiting in the wings is the latest provincial branch of Puregold Supermart which will rise right next to Savemore in the city’s business district. Puregold is expected to be operational next year.

Retail giant Robinsons beat its competitors when it became the first shopping store chain to open in Ilocos Norte in 2009, particularly located at Valdez Center in nearby San Nicolas town. It had since become a major shoppers’ haven for consumers in the Ilocos Region as well as nearby Cagayan and Apayao towns.

Consumers are known to be more willing to spend during the Christmas season but investors are probably relying on the long term-spending cycles of Ilocanos who enjoy the dollar remittances of family members working overseas. (ANL/CCA-PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)