One of the most well-known forms of retail in the Philippines is the sari-sari store. Found almost everywhere around the country, in small neighborhoods, subdivisions, and various street corners. Some could say it's the original Filipino convenience store.

One of the reasons why Filipinos would open up a sari-sari store is because it doesn't require a large amount of start-up capital. With some minor renovation work, most garages or front gates are transformed into a sari-sari store. A week's worth of goods could start for as low as 10,000php. Since it is a cash payment business, there are no credit or debit card payments that need to be worried about and checks are not accepted. The store generates cash sales on a daily basis.

While it doesn't take a lot to start and manage a sari-sari store. What if you could expand upon it? Whether it's to make your store stand out from the other sari-sari stores in your area or to simply physically expand the store itself to stock and sell more items. Micro loans are means of achieving a small amount of money in a quick and easy fashion to help with the expansion of your store. Pera Agad allows you to apply for a short-term loan via your cellphone. SMART prepaid and TNT subscribers can borrow as low as 2,000php or at most 10,000php and choose the term of which to repay the amount borrowed from as short as 4 weeks from the time the loan was approved to as long as 36 weeks. Why take a loan, you ask? Here are some ideas for you to expand or upgrade your sari-sari store:

Increase Your Stocks


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Running out of stock is one of the worst things that can happen in a retail business. Customers will remember you for it. Increasing the stock of your popular wares or spending the money to build a bigger or more proper storage area, if you didn't have one before hand, is a good way to make sure you never run out of the items you need.

Offer Variety



Experiment with items not commonly found in a typical sari-sari store. This could be tackled in different ways. New items can be added to go along with the seasons like selling ice cream during the summer or holding school items before the school year begins. If there are rival stores in your area. Survey the competition and take note of what they have and don't have.

You could also get a little creative with your expansion and open up a side business beside your store such as a small area for internet use or a eatery and dining area.

Opening Another Branch

Expand on your reach by opening another store in a different area that might have better foot traffic or perhaps another village that could benefit from having a store nearby.

Build a Better Store

If your store is in need of some repairs, possibly due to the weather or your standard wear and tear, why not go for a more grand overall improvement. Put up a shade to provide added comfort for customers and to prevent your products from being exposed to direct sunlight. Add a few tables and chairs to make a small lounging area for workers or students to hang out after their day to day. If given a place to stay and rest, the more likely they'll buy more items from your store.

Improve and Observe Quality Control

The money from a loan could be used to either repair, upgrade, or replace storage containers or refrigeration units for your products. Certain products need to be stored in dry areas not exposed under direct sunlight. For example: noodles and chips lose crispiness under direct sunlight. Rice needs to be stored in air-tight containers elevated from the ground. A good working cooler or refrigerator is a must for handling frozen items or refreshments. Customers will appreciate a good and well maintained store. Especially ones that take care of their wares.

A Mobile Sari-Sari Store


A more unique take on the typical sari-sari store. There are a few examples of Filipinos creating a mobile sari-sari store. You can see them in the form of having a rack on the side of a pedicab, or having wares in the back of your car or brought around in a jeepney. This could also be used as a form of delivery service to customers.

If you're looking for more ideas and information about expanding you store and business, visit where we offer comprehensive information about loans and micro loans in the Philippines that will best suit your needs.

GoBear team

GoBear team

GoBear Team - Our content creators collaborate to come up with finance articles that will make financial literacy a joy to learn and financial security an attainable goal.