store is an important economic and social location in a Filipino
community. It is present in almost all neighborhoods, sometimes even in every street. The word sari-sari
for "various kinds". Most sari-sari stores are privately owned shops and are operated inside the shopkeeper's house. Commodities are displayed in a large screen-covered or metal barred window in front of the shop. Candies
, canned goods
are often displayed while cooking oil
are often stored in sacks or cans. A small window is also present where the customer's requested commodity is given. A cigarette lighter tied to the window can also be found. Benches and sometimes tables are also provided in front of the sari-sari store. A shade is placed above it which is also used to cover the large window when the store closes.
The sari-sari store allows members of the community easy access to basic commodities at low costs. In the Philippines, following the concept of tingi, a customer can buy 'units' of the product rather than whole package. For example, one can buy a stick of cigarette for a peso (0.02 US dollars) rather than a whole pack. This is convenient for those who cannot buy the whole package or do not need much of it. The sari-sari store also saves the customer extra transportation costs, especially those in rural areas, since some towns can be very far from the nearest market or grocery.
The store also serves as a secondary or even primary source of income for shopkeepers. The owners can buy commodities in bulk in groceries then sell them in the store at a mark-up price. Trucks usually deliver LPG and soft drinks to the store itself. The store requires little investment since the products are cheap and only a few modifications on one side of a house are needed to convert it to a sari-sari store.
The sari-sari store offers a place where people can meet. The benches provided in front of the store are usually full of men and women. Some men would spend some time drinking while women discuss the latest local news. Youths also use the place to hang out. Children would also rest here in the afternoon after playing and buy soft drinks and snacks.
In popular culture
On September 14
, Paolo Benigno A. Aquino IV, president, Microventures Inc.’s Hapinoy Project announced that Philippine
's first ‘sari-sari
’ (mom and pop
) store chain
targets ‘bottom of the pyramid
’ or middle class by initiating makeover
of 1,000 Hapinoy stores
. There are 650,000 sari-sari stores across the nation
. Hapinoy Project permits borrowers of microfinance lender
Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Inc. (CARD) to use Microventure’s system
to sell at higher margin
. Smart Communications
officially treats Hapinoy as partner