When traveling around Metro Manila, you’ll find convenience stores dotting the cityscape. These are different from the family-run, variety stores which are smaller and more common, a.k.a. sari-sari stores. The convenience stores found in the city take on the familiar model: a large variety of goods, plenty of food stuff, available seats, warmers or microwave ovens, soda, bottled water, and liquor. Although not all of the convenience stores are foreign franchises, all of them follow foreign design influences. Below is a list of the popular convenience stores found in the country today. They have something for everyone; local and foreign customers alike.
1. 7-Eleven for snacks and fast-food meals
Photo from 7-Eleven Philippines Facebook Page
franchise is the first foreign convenience store franchise in the country. The stores usually have food warmers and a microwave oven, as well as hot water dispensers. These are for food purchases which the customer can eat within the premises. Almost all 7-Eleven stores have seats and a bar where the customer can eat. Some also have seats and tables outside the store. 7-Eleven stores are conveniently located near transport nexus or PUV stops. There is usually more than one 7-Eleven store within a short walk from big call center buildings.
2. MINISTOP for food and dining space
Photo from Ministop Facebook Page
is a local franchisee of Ministop Convenience stores in Japan. It is committed to the development of food service in the Philippines. Among its more noteworthy food stuff on sale and cooked on-site is crispy pata
. Other food stuff is based on Japanese convenience store fare as well as known Filipino favorites. The branches usually have a large area for customers to sit and eat. Ministop has been aggressive in putting up new stores in the country, and in some areas it has more branches than 7-Eleven.
3. FAMILY MART for Japan-made products
Photo from Family Mart Facebook Page
is a partnership between the SSI Group, AyalaLand, Family Mart Co. of Japan, and Itochu Corporation. It has a very Japanese take on the Convenience store experience. The stores look upscale, and with plenty of Family Mart Japan-packaged products.
Their food offerings also have a very Japanese bent. For a lot of consumers, the main feature of the store is the soft serve ice cream machine
. The ice cream machine is self-service, and customers can have as tall a serving of ice cream as they like. The flavors are also very Japanese, like sesame seed and green tea flavors
. The stores are roomy, with wide aisles and adequate seating for customers who dine in.
4. ALFAMART for cheaper prices, larger space, and health and wellness section
Photo from Alfamart Facebook Page
A joint venture of the SM Investment Group and Alfamart of Indonesia, Alfamart prides itself in saying that they have cheaper prices than other convenience stores. Its main branch is located at the SM Mall of Asia and it has a larger store space than comparable convenience stores. The aisles are wider, and there is also a section for health and wellness. It has a wider selection of products for sale as well. Among other things unexpected from ordinary store, it has an LBC kiosk inside.
5. GOOD DAY CONVENIENCE STORE for premium and hard-to-find items
Good Day describes itself as a quick premium food store. It has two branches: at Chinese General Hospital in Manila and Pacific Star in Makati. It offers food items, including some which are relatively hard to find. Its main selling point is that there are no other convenience stores within the immediate area. For both branches, you have to cross the street to reach the nearest Mini-Stop or 7-Eleven.
6. ALL DAY for fast-food meals and meet-ups
Photo from All Day Convenience Store Facebook Page
All Day Convenience Store
was the former Finds Convenience Store established in 2008. It is affiliated with Vista Land's residential properties, which includes Camelia, Crown Asia, and Vista Residencies. This has made it easier for All Day to establish itself as the go-to store within these suburban communities. As a feature of residential developments, All Day strives to be a safe place where people can meet, as well as stock up on needed items. Some of its main features are the in-store ATM machines, delivery service, and money transfer facility.
7. QUICKSTOP for basic convenience store items and hot meals
Photo from Quickstop Convenience Store Facebook Page
Quickstop convenience store is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Starlite Ferries. It has land-based and sea-based branches. It has several land-based branches in Metro Manila, Batangas, and Bohol. Its sea-based branches are on RO/RO ships run by the Starlite Ferries along the Batangas-Mindoro route. Although the sea-based branches look more like kiosks, they are considered as separate concessionaires aboard the Starlite Ferries. On the one hand, their land-based branches have the basic convenience store items for sale. On the other hand, the sea-based branches mainly offer food items, including hot meals, for the passengers.
8. ASSI MART for Korean products
Most Korean stores in Metro Manila are family-owned businesses which sell Korean food stuff and imported products, and Assi Mart
is no exception. The store is located near the Remedios Circle in Manila. The products are a bit pricier than what you would find in other stores. However, the place is well-stocked, and the store clerks are very helpful. As to be expected, it has Korean food stuff like kimchi and beef cut thinly for korean barbecue.
9. Mercury Drug Store for medicines and grocery items
Photo from Mercury Drug Facebook Page
is the largest drug store chain in the Philippines. The company is a pioneer in providing 24-hour service at select stores. Selling groceries, toiletries, and food stuff is a natural progression because the stores have the floor space for the shelves and cashier. Mercury Drug Stores can be found along main thoroughfares near hospitals or shopping centers. These are well-lit stores with security guards. However, the stores do not have any facility where the customer can eat their food purchases.