Nov 29, 2008
Gaisano Central Mall held soft opening yesterday
By Sarwell Q. Meniano & Joey A. Gabieta
Leyte Samar Daily Express
TACLOBAN CITY -- Gaisano Central Mall officially opened for business as it held yesterday its soft opening, pinning high hopes that mall business will keep booming despite of the global financial crisis.
Gaisano Group of Companies Vice President for lease operation Jade Gaisano said that its 25 stalls open for lease are now all occupied. But during yesterday's initial opening, some of the tenants failed to do business as their stalls have yet to be completed.
"We are looking forward to open the third floor before Christmas," Gaisano said in a media interview.
The third floor will be shops for school supplies, children's department, and ladies acessories, among others. The Gaisano-owned supermarket and department store occupy the first and second levels, respectively.
"I believe that no matter what's the economic scenario that we have right now, people will still want to buy what is affordable and that's what's we offer to the people," Gaisano stressed.
"I think we will always be the first choice for the market because what we offer are affordable but quality goods, "she added.
The mall official declined to reveal the amount of their investment for Tacloban. The company's president, Henry Gaisano, was not able to make it to the soft opening as earlier planned.
The first ever shopping mall of the city is located at the old Republic Theater four-hectare lot along Justice Romualdez Street. It is open from 8 a.m. up to 9 p.m.
Present during the blessing and inauguration of the city's first ever shopping mall were City Mayor Alfred Romualdez and wife Councilor Cristina Gonzales- Romualdez and Leyte Vice Governor Mimiette Bagulaya.
It was learned that aside from Tacloban, the company is also building shopping malls in Iligan, Panabo, Dipolog, Koronadal, Pagadian, Dumaguete, Digos and San Jose, Antique.
The main branch of the country's third largest mall operator is found in Cebu City.
The Gaisano Department Store located at the city's shopping center just few meters away from the new mall, has been operating for about 20 years now. It's been the busiest shopping store in the city.
The existing Gaisano store will remain in operation considering that the 25-year lease contract at the local government-owned shopping center had not yet ended.
Within the first quarter of 2009, Robinson's Place will also open its mid-sized mall. The construction was reportedly delayed due to heavy rains in the past months, said City Mayor Alfred Romualdez.
The opening of the Gaisano Mall in the city, the city mayor added, not only helps generate funds for the city in terms of sales tax but, more importantly, generate employment.
"To me, (job) generation is the most important," Romualdez said, referring to the benefits the city and its immediate environs on the opening of the first mall of Tacloban.
The operation of the Gaisano Mall immediately generated an employment of about 1,000.
The city mayor added that with the opening of the Gaisano shopping mall, his drive for the reclassification of Tacloban into a highly urbanized city has been boosted.
Presently, the city mayor said that there are more than 13,000 business establishments in the city. "The number would greatly increase once investments that follow urbanization would start to flow in," Romualdez added.
The city's chief executive said that big investments will trigger healthier competition but it won't affect the small businessmen.