The gradual revival of pre-pandemic consumption patterns gives the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) a positive outlook for the country’s retail industry in the third and fourth quarters of 2022. By and large, this rising trajectory is also owed to the resilient retailers that strategized and doubled time amid health and economic threats. Such is the case of Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc. whose business gains and ongoing expansion plans remain strong.
Phoenix successfully completed its first half performance in 2022 with 10 newly opened outlets across strategic locations in NCR, Cebu, Davao, Bukidnon, and the islands of Palawan and Zamboanga. In total, it currently operates close to 700 retail stations nationwide.
“Our resiliency is inspired by the needs of our customers and the trust of our partners. We’ve accelerated our strategies despite difficult times, and now, in the post-pandemic world, we remain committed to be an indispensable partner to Filipinos. We are fully geared up to adapt to the ever-growing and changing landscape of retail business,” said Phoenix Petroleum President Henry Albert Fadullon.
So, what exactly did Phoenix do to continue its steady momentum and execute more expansion plans? The country’s third largest oil brand continues to strengthen innovations across its several brands on top of its gas stations, such as Phoenix SUPER LPG, Autoworx Plus, FamilyMart convenience store, POSIBLE digital payments, and LIMITLESS digital transactions.
According to Fadullon, “continuous partnerships and expansion of its retail footprint, strong support for SMEs through franchising opportunities, and progressive steps into digitalization” are key qualities that shaped Phoenix’s performance during the pandemic.
The power of retail footprint and franchising
Many international case studies agree that a tried-and-true, big-box suburban store strategy is better off when creating brand visibility and customer loyalty in the retail footprint. On Phoenix’s part, it balances traditional and emerging trends with its newest retail concept called the Phoenix Block.
The proudly Davaoeño oil firm transitions into a multi-industry consumer brand through its efficient retail mix. Launched in 2021 at Sucat Skyway and Evangelista, Makati City, Phoenix Block is a new station format that features all of its businesses (Phoenix brands) and other complementary brands within one complex. It’s an efficient initiative that invites different merchants to join the Phoenix Retail community.
And with the retail industry bearing a lot of business opportunities, Phoenix takes a crucial role in supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and aspiring entrepreneurs. Fadullon, who is a staunch supporter of the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA), serves as the association’s Regional Director in Mindanao. He steers the company’s growth and helps further SMEs in the region. Likewise, Phoenix’s LIMITLESS supports various merchants and SMEs in reaching more customers and members through its app features, including e-vouchers.
In June 2022, Phoenix helped PFA in organizing the two-day virtual event called Online Business Matching Sessions (B2B) in Mindanao. It brought together the country’s best franchise brands from the food, retail, and service industries. Under the F&B, Fuel Station, Hospitality, Convenience Stores, and Pharmacies category, the homegrown company presented its expansive portfolio including FamilyMart convenience store retailing, and its oil and gas businesses.
A major leap into digitalization
Although e-commerce has already been readily available, its immediate importance was more emphasized when the pandemic struck. With technology further driving Phoenix, it officially launched its LIMITLESS mobile app in June 2020, and has since earned popularity for the added value it offers to customers.
The LIMITLESS app is a digital lifestyle rewards program that incentivizes its registered members through earning and redeeming points using the Peso-point system, getting discounts, and deals from non-expiring e-vouchers. It’s Phoenix’s digital solution in making all of its retail outlets and increasing partner merchants “one-stop-shop destinations for the varying needs of [its] customers,” according to Phoenix Petroleum Vice-President for Integrated Marketing & Strategies Celina Matias.
Barely two years since it was launched, the app now has more than 250,000 members. It also now features vouchers for more than 20 brands outside of the Phoenix umbrella. It has proven to be a lucrative business as transactions amounting to over P2 billion have been processed on the app within a period of a year.
Meanwhile, the recent partnership with e-Tap Solutions is set out this year to provide customers more access and convenience to a wider range of payment options by installing new machines at 70 FamilyMart stores and Phoenix gas stations. Services include bill payments, e-money top-up, and prepaid loading, offering more reasons to visit Phoenix and FamilyMart sites.
Phoenix’s growth does not only rely on increasing consumption and economic recovery but is more anchored on innovation and foresight. Despite challenges, it continues to bring better products and services to Filipino consumers through its brand and marketing improvements, support to partner local brands, and digitalization to answer the dynamic needs of people amid the vigorous retail landscape.