Metro Ayala reopens with new offerings for customers

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Metro Ayala Cebu transforms into an eco-friendly store with modern aesthetics and a special focus on the customer experience as it fully reopens after closing down in 2018.

It features several levels of retail space, including the basement with its selection of quality furniture and a dining area on Level 7 that will soon host brands serving different food specialties.

Metro Retail Stores Group, Inc. President and Chief Operating Officer Manuel C. Alberto said they had to rethink and realign their strategies when pandemic restrictions were imposed in the country beginning in March last year.

“We looked at what is important to our customers under a restricted living lifestyle. I’m proud to say we were able to easily adapt to their changing needs,” he added.

Omnichannel retailing

As early as April 2020, the Metro Stores began to put in place mobile commerce and e-commerce options that continue to be integrated into an omnichannel retail experience for customers, according to Alberto. This provides a seamless experience for shoppers with varied buying preferences: shopping online and picking up purchases or getting them delivered online, picking a product online and buying it from a physical Metro Store, or seeing an item in the store and acquiring it from the company’s mobile and online channels.

METRO AYALA OPENING. Metro Retail Stores Group, Inc. President and Chief Operating Officer Manuel Alberto (3rd from left) answers questions during the press conference held to mark the grand opening of Metro Ayala. With him are (from left) Regional Manager – Visayas Store Operations Glenda Navares, Chief Merchandising Officer for Department Store and Supermarket Fili Mercado, and Creative Director, Store Design & Network Expansion Department Architect Mario Rotersos.
METRO AYALA GRAND OPENING. Metro Retail Stores Group, Inc. President and Chief Operating Officer Manuel Alberto (3rd from left) answers questions during the press conference held to mark the grand opening of Metro Ayala. With him are (from left) Regional Manager – Visayas Store Operations Glenda Navares, Chief Merchandising Officer for Department Store and Supermarket Fili Mercado, and Creative Director, Store Design & Network Expansion Department Architect Mario Rotersos.

Metro Retail has also developed and strengthened partnerships with other online retailers. Within the month, the Metro Stores will also open in Lazada.

According to Alberto, all the learnings from the company’s experience navigating community restrictions in 2020 went into the newly reopened Metro Ayala Cebu.

“This store is our new generation store, a model for future branches in urban markets,” he cited, adding that it symbolizes the relationship and affinity the company has developed with Cebuano consumers.

Modern aesthetics

After the fire that hit Metro Ayala in 2018, Architect Mario Rotersos said they saw the opportunity redesign it into an eco-friendly space with a more casual and relaxed vibe.

“The architecture focuses on the less is more concept, with clean and modern aesthetics, and using simple materials,” he said, adding they took out the divisions in public spaces to achieve an open flow layout and added an expanse of glass to bring in natural light and save energy at the same time.

Metro Ayala has also evaluated its offerings and retained those that offer the most value for money and added quality local and international brands, according to Chief Merchandising Officer for Department Store and Supermarket Fili Mercado.

Shoppers can also rest assured that comprehensive sanitation standards are in place in all Metro head offices, warehouses, and stores.

Metro Retail continues to reexamine its existing and future department stores under the new normal, said Alberto, adding that they will continue to expand their new compact department stores in the countrysides that focus more on essential categories and non-essentials like basic apparel, home, sports, and entertainment goods.

By Marlen Limpag

Marlen is the editor of MyCebu.ph and co-founder of Cebu-based journalism startup InnoPub Media.