MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Seven Corporation, the company behind convenience store chain 7-Eleven, will be slashing its store openings by half in 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic cripples store operations.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Monday, May 4, Philippine Seven confirmed a report by BusinessWorld that the company will only open 200 stores this year instead of its initial target of 400.
“We’re holding off all capex (capital expenditure). We were supposed to build 400 stores this year. We’ll open only 200, and that’s only because we’ve broken ground already,” Philippine Seven chief executive officer Jose Victor Paterno said in the report.
There are over 2,800 7-Eleven stores nationwide, 22% of which are closed due to the pandemic, 68% open during curfew hours, and 10% open 24 hours.
“The movement of goods and essential workers were hampered as a result of the establishment of [the] checkpoint system,” Philippine Seven said.
Despite headwinds, the company told the PSE that it “remains to be optimistic on the business prospects for the year.”
7-Eleven stores are slowly reopening as parts of the country transition to general community quarantine, less stringent than the enhanced version.