SM Markets, which operates the grocery chain of the Sy family, said it has helped revive legacy brands, such as DECS, which sells dimsums.
DECS has launched their frozen products and ready-to-eat product months before the pandemic hit the Philippines in 2020, making it easier for the company to make its transition and keep up with the disturbance caused by Covid-19.
The company said its efforts to bring their products to the freezers of SM grocery chains played to their advantage as frozen dimsum eventually overtook the sales of DECS’ ready-to-eat offerings. Their innovation tapped new segments of the market their ready-to-eat selections did not reach and their sales grew by 88 percent in 2021.
“And with continuous support and guidance from SM Markets, DECS’ bestselling frozen dimsums are being sold in 84 locations nationwide,” the company said.
Justine Kayne Chua, president of Decs Dimsum Dynasty Inc., said SM has helped improve the company’s sales, product and operations.
“By selling in SM Markets, we are able to learn from their business, adopt their best practices like using the stores’ POS [point of sale] which saves us a lot of effort in collecting payments, and allowed us to scale and reach more customers. Not to mention the strategic location of each store that caters to our target market.”
Diao Eng Chay is one of the first to sell traditional Chinese delicacies in the Philippines, with their first store opening in Binondo, Manila in the early 1930s. That store still serves hundreds of Filipino and Chinese customers in Chinatown with their signature dimsum until today.
In 1990, the third-generation owners sought to bring their heritage recipes to more customers by branching out and starting a new company called DECS. The new brand thrived by serving dimsum to Filipino and Filipino-Chinese customers through a handful of pop-up stores across malls in Metro Manila.
In 2014, Chua, the great grandson of Diao Eng Chay, was working with SM Retail’s mini-mart chain Alfamart as a merchandising manager, where he had the opportunity to work with SM Markets Vice Chairman Herbert Sy for about a year.
Sy urged him to revive DECS and modernize the legacy brand for it to keep up with the times and expand beyond Greenhills.
Chua then took over the family business and started revamping and expanding the business on a much larger scale.
In November 2015, DECS opened their first stall in SM Supermarket Makati. Its new look breathed new life to its already popular name. After several months, the restaurant expanded to other SM Supermarket branches as well as in Savemore and SM Hypermarket.
Since partnering with SM, DECS dimsum sales tripled. Chua said its sales exceed its targets by about 30 percent.
SM Markets is the umbrella brand for SM Supermarket, SM Hypermarket and Savemore.
Image credits: Contributed photo