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North Star corners last-mile delivery for Alfamart stores in Northern Luzon

NORTH STAR Meat Merchants, Inc. has expanded its distribution channels to now serve Alfamart stores in Northern Luzon through its last-mile delivery and cold storage network, its top official said.

“Alfamart’s northern operations [are] now with us. We are going to handle their last-mile delivery and storage,” North Star Chief Executive Officer Anthony Mark O. Ng told reporters last week.

“Ang mangyayari d’yan, lahat ng (What will happen is all of the) frozen items ni (of) Alfamart for north sa akin babagsak (will go through us) and we [will] deliver to their stores,” Mr. Ng added.

He said the frozen food suppliers of the minimart chain will now go through North Star’s distribution network.

“The other suppliers will bring [the products] to us, and we will consolidate, store, plan for them, and deliver to their stores,” Mr. Ng said.

He said the company will use its existing internal logistics network to deliver frozen products to Alfamart stores in Northern Luzon.

Alfamart has so far opened a total of 1,500 stores in the country and plans to open about 250 stores within the year. It recently announced the opening of its 1,500th store in Pangasinan last week.

The company, last year, announced that it had partnered with North Star to sell meat and frozen meat products in about 1,000 stores across the country.

North Star is an end-to-end fresh frozen meat retailer and operates in SM Markets, WalterMart, and Alfamart across the Philippines.

Last year, the company planned to sell its shares to the public via an initial public offering (IPO) that was supposed to run from June 13 to 17, 2022 from which it expected to raise around P3.5 billion.

In March 2022, North Star filed the registration application for its IPO with 1.8-billion outstanding shares to be offered to investors. Days before the offer period, the company said it was deferring the offering due to market volatility.

Mr. Ng had said the company was waiting for an indication that the economy is beginning to bounce back before pushing through with its market listing, which he hoped to be this year or early 2024.

In the company’s preliminary prospectus issued last year, it listed 248 meat concessions in the National Capital Region (NCR) as of end-2021, apart from 53 in Luzon outside NCR, 53 in Visayas and six in Mindanao. Its sales mix for that year was comprised of 65% pork, 27% beef and 8% chicken.

North Star has cold storage facilities in Bulacan and Cebu. It has a capacity of 8.09 million kilograms and can deliver up to 120,000 kilograms of meat daily.

Meanwhile, Alfamart is the minimart chain of SM Markets and a joint venture between the SM group and PT Sumber Alfaria Trijaya Tbk (Alfamart Indonesia), creating the minimart chain of SM Markets, the food retail brand of SM Retail, Inc., one of the core businesses of SM Investments Corp. — Adrian H. Halili

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