MANILA, Philippines – Fans of Uncle John’s Fried Chicken need not worry that it too will leave the Philippines, following the news of Japanese company Ministop divesting from the country.
In a statement on Monday, January 24, Gokongwei-led Robinsons Retail Holdings Incorporated (RRHI), the exclusive franchisee of Ministop, confirmed a Nikkei Asia report that it will fully own the stores in the Philippines. Ministop Japan said it will focus on its home market amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Ministop currently has around 460 stores in the Philippines. All will continue to operate under the Ministop brand within an unspecified transition period, “until they are repurposed and appropriately rebranded in consideration of strong ready-to-eat offerings such as Uncle John’s Fried Chicken and Kariman.”
“Our stores will continue to carry our bestsellers while we continue to diversify our ready-to-eat menu and offer new products to the market. Customers can also rely on our convenient e-services and bills payment facilities,” said Suresh Ramalinggam, general manager of Ministop Philippines.
Ministop has been in the Philippines since 2000, under the joint venture between RRHI, Mitsubishi, and Ministop Japan. In 2018, RRHI bought out Mitsubishi for a 60% stake.
“I would like to thank Ministop Japan for our partnership over the years. Under the Ministop banner we were able to bring to the public well-loved products and essential services,” said Robina Gokongwei-Pe, RRHI president and chief executive officer.
RRHI also operates popular stores like Daiso Japan, True Value, Toys “R” Us, and No Brand.
Ministop also sold its stake in its South Korea venture to its partner there, Lotte, for $267 million, Nikkei Asia reported.
Prior to this, Ministop liquidated a Chinese subsidiary in Qingdao, as it struggled to rev up sales amid the pandemic. – Rappler.com