As the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) marks its 120th-year milestone, it prepares to host a grand celebration on December 6 at the Nustar Convention Center in SRP, Cebu City. This Gala Night not only signifies the Chamber’s longevity but also serves as a platform to honor outstanding businesses that have played pivotal roles in shaping Cebu’s economic landscape. Among the distinguished awardees, Prince Retail stands out as the recipient of the prestigious “Captain of Industry: Mass Retail” award.
The story of Prince Retail is a testament to entrepreneurship, resilience, and a commitment to serving the community. The journey began with Robert Lim Go, who, in the late 1980s, navigated the changing tides of the wholesale trade business in the Carbon market of Cebu. The shifting dynamics, driven by modernized shipping and logistics, prompted a swift pivot towards retailing. Inspired by the success of the American chain Costco Price Club, Robert founded Prince Warehouse Club in 1990 with a humble setup—a single cash register, three “bodegeros”, and coco lumber shelves repainted by Robert himself.
Prince Retail’s growth has been fueled by transformative ideas rooted in technology, empowerment, and purpose. Embracing technology as a growth enabler, the company has constantly harnessed tools to ensure continuous advancement. The principle of empowerment has been integral, recognizing that, despite technological strides, the business is ultimately run by people. With the second generation on board, the importance of making decisions, learning from mistakes, and taking ownership in growing the business has been emphasized. The third pillar, purpose, reflects Prince’s unwavering commitment to serving the underserved, extending their mission to reach more Filipinos in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
The Captain of Industry award bestowed upon Prince Retail is a recognition of its outstanding role in pioneering Cebu’s retail mass/mall market. The evolution from Prince Warehouse Club to the Prince Retail Group has been instrumental in organizing the Sari-Sari Store Society (SSS), empowering sari-sari store owners and providing livelihood opportunities to underserved communities for over 30 years.
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