Special Feature



By Erika Denise L. Dizon, Special Features Writer


Standing stronger: Wilcon Depot celebrates 40th anniversary




Posted on January 27, 2017


What began as a small and modest hardware store is now a leading provider of home and construction supplies in the country that has been standing strong for over 40 years now. Wilcon Depot has made a name for itself in the retail construction arena not only through mastering the art of building and constructing, but also by fervent service to thousands of Filipinos daily.

  
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As if having 38 branches nationwide isn’t a feat, the home improvement and construction materials retailer is targeting to add eight branches in 2017 and 24 more in the next five years. Recently, Wilcon Depot filed its application with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering that could lead up to approximately P8 billion, thus making its goal of expanding to numerous key cities nationwide more attainable than ever.

“Being in the industry for four decades now, it’s high time that we allow the public to become part of the company to be successful in our plan to serve more Filipinos,” said Rosemarie Ong, senior executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Wilcon Depot, in an e-mail to BusinessWorld.

Ms. Ong added that being able to survive and succeed in the industry for four decades is already a milestone that’s worthy enough to be noted. With the help of its loyal patrons, suppliers, and industry partners, Wilcon Depot is able to keep up with the ever-changing needs of its stakeholders.

Part of Wilcon Depot’s development is rearing exclusive partnerships with top suppliers and in-house brands. The home building provider currently has an extensive product portfolio that is sourced locally and internationally in order for buyers to have a wide array of selection.

In spite of that, an obstacle that Wilcon Depot has been particularly familiar with through the years is keeping up with the ups and downs of Philippine economy. “We remain resilient and we focus on building our strong foundation,” Ms. Ong shared.

As it persists to innovate and enhance its presence in the market through the cultivation of key growth strategies such as establishing easy-to-navigate stores and continuously nurturing and training its staff on trading and technical skills, Wilcon Depot has become a reliable partner of industry professionals and homeowners in the Philippines.

“With our aggressive expansion plans, the most challenging [ordeal] we face is [fostering] a pool of managers who can manage our store operations as it has been the culture of the company to promote from within the organization. All our managers are equipped with years of experience and knowledge of the day-to-day operations of the business,” Ms. Ong said.

Innovation and keeping up with the trends and latest know-how are only some of the intangibles that many companies are having a hard time dealing with. With thorough research and market study, Wilcon Depot is able to scout for the most inventive and efficient products out there.

As of the moment, it boasts of its roster of brands that incorporate the freshest technologies and fit the highest standard in the market. Some of the chief names being offered exclusively at Wilcon Depot are Grohe, Franke, and Kohler Kitchens.

The retail store giant also offers its own in-house names like sanitary wares and bathroom fixtures brand Pozzi as an effort to become an idea and solutions provider to home builders. Pozzi is popular for its broad assortment and water-saving features.

Another Wilcon Depot house brand is Heim, which is dedicated to the production of furniture, and houseware necessities. Direct Hardware, on the other hand, is another house brand that sells hardware materials that make it convenient for buyers to build, repair, and maintain their houses.

“Driven by its goal of providing customer satisfaction and shopping convenience, the company offers the most extensive selection of strong and trusted local and imported brands in the market, arranged in an organized and clutter-free manner inside an air-conditioned shopping area,” Ms. Ong said.

Wilcon Depot also has a Design Hub, which allows customers to imagine and create their own designs through a computer software that states the overall cost estimates and product lists made available within the retail store.

Well-known personas have narrated their own stories telling how they became frequent Wilcon Depot customers and why they see the hardware store as a consistent partner when it comes to building their homes as well as professions. Some of the names include architect Arlen De Guzman, father and son green architecture advocates architects Mike and Paul Peña, husband and wife architecture professionals Romulo and Yolanda Reyes, mom and daughter home enthusiasts Deonna Tan-chi and Joy Mendoza, and newlyweds Rocky and Alex Yam.

“Their stories have one thing in common, which is the value the company has always showed them. No matter how big or small the customers need, Wilcon Depot always assures them of getting the service and assistance that they deserve,” Ms. Ong concluded.