Part 1

Sta. Lucia Mall’s partnership with its tenants, especially The French Baker, National Bookstore, Kenny Rogers and Pizza Hut speaks highly of how the property developer takes care of its tenants to enable them to grow for the long haul.

Now in its 24th year of operating in the mall,  The French Baker, which opened their branch in April 1999,  is the longest staying tenant of the property developer.

Johnlu Koa, founder and CEO, The French Baker, decided to open a branch in Sta. Lucia Mall because there was an opportunity to build and expand the brand in the Marikina and Taytay areas.

“In the early 90s the mall was alone in serving the Marikina and Taytay areas. Meanwhile, The French Baker was just five  years old. Sta. Lucia had a lot of similarities with the other major malls,” Koa told the BusinessMirror.

Koa didn’t think twice about putting up a branch in Sta. Lucia as the management because it provided attractive terms to ensure the iconic brand will have a  productive stay in the mall.  “Sta. Lucia offered a prime corner lease space at the ground floor by the grand indoor fountain that made dining indoor alfresco an attraction to mall shoppers. It also offered reasonable lease rent,” Koa said.

Sta. Lucia Mall has been the go-to mall in the eastern part of Metro Manila

Koa made the right decision to put up  a branch in Sta. Lucia Mall as it became the biggest nearby residential everyday go-to mall for entertainment, supermarket and department store shopping in the eastern part of Metro Manila.

“Shoppers come in relaxed and casual wear that is appropriate at the mall. Retail shops that appeal to local tastes invariably keep local shoppers frequently coming back. A fresh-bakery café such as The French Baker completes their shopping experience,” Koa said.

Meanwhile, National BookStore, which opened its Sta. Lucia branch in July 2021, wanted to establish a presence in Santa Lucia Mall because it has been a go-to shopping and recreation destination for residents of Rizal, Pasig, and Marikina for many years.

In an interview with the National Bookstore president Adrian Ramos, he said the prominent bookstore founded by Socorro Ramos also aims to extend its market coverage of its range of books and school and office supplies to be as accessible to as many Filipinos as possible, and  having a branch in Sta. Lucia Mall is a great opportunity the Ramos family wanted to maximize. “And in the more than two decades since we opened our Sta. Lucia Mall branch in 2002, we are glad to have served countless Laking National customers,” he said.

During the challenging times, Ramos commended the Sta. Lucia Mall management because it extended a helping hand to National Bookstore to overcome the challenges brought by the pandemic through its rental concessions. “And as we move on from the pandemic, we are excited to explore additional activities, events, and opportunities to re-engage customers and bring customers back to our Sta. Lucia Mall branch,” Ramos noted.

Ramos said one major reason why shoppers continue to patronize Sta. Lucia Mall is because of  the presence of an exciting variety of establishments, fun activities and events, and its prime location, intersecting three cities and one municipality. Moreover, the integration of the Light Rail Transit 2 has made the mall even more accessible to shoppers from other areas. “National Book Store is looking forward to welcoming more Filipino families to our Sta. Lucia Mall branch, especially this coming back to school season,” he said.

Developing the capability of the tenants

To ensure their businesses will be sustainable, Rose Santos-Mantolino, Leasing manager of Sta. Lucia Mall,  explained to the BusinessMirror that the real estate developer helps in building and developing the capabilities of its tenants  through  relocation, zoning, and promotion.  Meanwhile, the Lease Administration office will focus on relocating the tenants to determine the area which is beneficial and  accessible to their target market.

Santos-Mantolino added Santa Lucia Mall will also create a marketable zoning area, which can increase tenant profitability and promotion through the help of the advertising  and promotion department.  Meanwhile, the two departments will take charge of increasing the mall and its tenant’s market reach by creating marketing promotion on social media, creating various activities consistently such as major events Mr. and Ms. Sexy Body, Generation East that will help increase the mall’s foot traffic, create social media interaction, reach a wider market, increase market engagement, and profitability.

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