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Supermarkets await stronger sales ahead of school opening


SUPERMARKETS are expecting stronger sales ahead of the opening of classes for the school year 2023-2024, particularly for items consumed by students.

“Supermarkets are hopeful that with most schools going face-to-face completely, sales for ‘baon,’ bread spreads, and drinks will be revived this year,” Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Association President Steven T. Cua told BusinessWorld in a Viber message.

“Household expense on these have been put on hold since the pandemic with schooling done from home,” he added.

The Department of Education previously announced that all public schools would start classes on Aug. 29 for the school year 2023-2024, while private schools are allowed to open classes starting from the first Monday of June but not later than the last day of August, as provided under Republic Act No. 11480.

According to Mr. Cua, local supermarkets have prepared their inventories ahead of the school opening.

“Supermarkets have prepared for this but operators have been scratching their heads as to the official class opening for which type of school and grade level. Most are looking forward to end of August as the start for majority of pupils for 2023,” he added.

“It is that time of the year when school supplies sell well,” he added.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) previously said the pending increases in the suggested retail prices (SRPs) of basic necessities and prime commodities range from 10 centavos to P7 for food products and P1.50 to P9.75 increase for nonfood products on the back of surging prices of raw materials.

It added that 43 shelf-keeping units (SKUs) from 13 manufacturers have pending price hikes. These products include canned sardines, condensed milk, evaporated milk, powdered milk, coffee, instant noodles, bottled water, canned meat, and toilet soap.

The latest DTI SRP bulletin was released on Feb. 8, which granted SRP increases ranging from 45 centavos to P7 for 76 SKUS, while the prices of 141 SKUs were carried over from the previous SRP bulletin issued in August last year.

Separately, the DTI released its updated price guide for school supplies on July 25, which covers specific brands of notebooks (composition, spiral, and writing), pad paper (Grades 1-4 and intermediate), pencils, ballpoint pens, crayons, erasers, sharpeners, and rulers.

The DTI’s guide reflected price increases ranging from P4 to P8 on various school supplies. Before the July 25 issuance, the last school price guide issued by the DTI was on Aug. 12 last year.

School supplies are deemed prime commodities under Republic Act No. 7581 or the Price Act. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

Neil Banzuelo

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