SAVE UP TO 20% OFF AIRPORT PRICES!
Our small store at the Mactan airport domestic departure area has higher prices than our city stores. We can’t help it. Recent rental increases means that some 40+%, YES, read 40+% OF EVERY PESO of revenue goes directly to rent and taxes. So about 5-6 weeks ago, when I spotted a small strip mall like building for rent near the airport, we jumped at the chance to lease it. Our objective was to set up a small Zubuchon take-out outlet filled with a full range of Zubuchon items as well as other typical Cebu pasalubong items that visitors to Cebu often take home with them. It will have the first DRIVE-THRU lechon pick-up window in Cebu. And basically, a 2-3 minute stop here just before the airport could save you up to 20% off airport prices!
So imagine this conversation a month ago when the ink on the lease was still damp…
Architect & Contractor : Hello Marketman.
Marketman : Hello. Do you think we can get this place open in time for the Ironman crush of guests on August 7?
Architect & Contractor : Huh? (Crazed looks) thinking quietly “Is he F%$#@! crazy?”
Marketman : One week for plans. One week for permits. Same two weeks to order equipment and develop signage.
Marketman : Then 10 days of construction, renovation lang di ba? Should be okay, no? (Evil grin)
Architect & Contractor : How about just the shop first?
Marketman : Okay, let’s just do it!
So here is how you open a new retail outlet in about a month’s time. Really.
1. Sign lease and at the same time get wheels rolling on several other simultaneous tasks.
2. Ask graphics designer to develop new “BUY B4U FLY” material
3. Print tarp and put it in front of your store once it is done.
4. Approve architectural plans and drawings of perspectives. First two images up top belong to our wonderful architects, Maya Franco & Associates
5. Start construction and do other drawings for details on the fly. Order equipment and design display tables.
6. This is what it looks like at T-72 hours to opening. T-72 hours!!
7. Glass in stalled, painting in progress, and electrical being tweaked. The building already had electricity and water and floor tiles that we re-used.
8. Visit site at T-24 hours, and marvel that there appears no sign of a front door other than a makeshift frame! But calmly confirm with poor harried assistant that all is on target for opening in a day’s time (already delayed a day from original plans, we don’t have much room for errors)…
9. Freezer and fridge in place the day before opening. Assuming we get a door. Meanwhile, Marketman rushes to the Carbon market to buy baskets and bilaos and other stuff. Stocks from various suppliers are arriving at the head office in full force. Scouts from Bantayan have sent boxes and boxes of fresh daing for our stores. Lard is being made and packed. Biko portioned and frozen.
10. Voila! August 6 Saturday we managed to get the place blessed at 9am, set up for a few hours and opened for business by 1pm or so! Marketman wasn’t in Cebu for the opening, since it was a day later than originally scheduled. :)
11. Still missing signage, shelves, etc. but the objective was to have a place for Ironman guests to buy their pasalubongs and that deluge of sukis should start passing by by this afternoon, August 7th! The air conditioners work, fridges are on, it’s almost there.
12. This store carries the full range of products we have on offer. And we can arrange special pick-ups from here if desired in future. Think pick up and check-in your own whole lechon for lunch or dinner in Manila…
13. We have the freshest dried fish on offer, neatly (and smell-proof) vacuum packed and stored in chillers for even better longevity. Prices for dried fish are up to 50% MORE at the domestic airport!
14. Fresh chicharon is delivered to this outlet daily. Our freezers and chillers have a wide range of our products.
15. Crazed office staff trying to make the store look a bit festive for opening day, despite missing a lot of the paraphernalia we need for a completed offering.
16. Even for products like Titay’s rosquillos, our prices can be as much as 20-33% less than airport prices!
17. Some tarps/signage up like in the plans up top.
18. And two hours BEFORE we opened, this couple came in and bought two bayongs full of pasalubong! Talk about bueno mano! So for all those folks who have come to Cebu for Ironman and haven’t had time to complete their pasalubong shopping, please drop by our new store on your way home in the next few days! Over the next few weeks, we will be opening more stalls behind this store and there will be both well-known local Cebu brands and delicacies, as well as a “street food” style set of kiosks towards the rear. We are looking for lots of new products like some authentic Carcar ampao, Catmon bibingka, cassava cakes, etc. to put on offer in future as well.
Open a pasalubong store in about 1 month? Done. :)
A huge thank you to our architects and contractors and Zubu staff that no longer seem to wonder if anything is really impossible. :)
Top two images are from Maya Franco & Associates