Why Sari-sari Stores only exists in the Philippines?

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Sari-sari stores are one of the important backbones in our society. Dating back during the pre-Spanish era, its presence in the barrios, barangays, municipalities and cities, have become part of our daily lives. It is peculiar that no other countries in this part of the world have this large number of sari-sari stores elsewhere.

Let me describe to you the usual characteristics of sari-sari stores. Typical sari-sari store settings has grills or screens for protection against theft, lighter or match hanging on the door of the screen for cigarette buyers wanting to light their stick, has a make-shift bench outside the store for people wanting to eat their snacks, as a meeting place for “tsimosos/tsismosa”, and at nights as a mini-bar for guys wanting to get drunk. A sari-sari store is also a source of socialization where people exchange ideas and thoughts. This is the classic lay-out of sari-sari stores we have known ever since we were a child.

Costs of retail goods are high compare to wholesale goods we usually found in the market and income generated in this retail type of businesses usually takes time to garner profit. The typical measurements in this type of stores are usually by takal (by volume) or by tingi (by piece). But why do people still flock sari-sari stores and why entrepreneurs chose to invest their hard-earned money in this type of industry?

The main reason is that Filipinos, in general, have a very low per capita income and live on a daily basis. Another good reason for it is we prefer to buy their goods in a place that is near to their homes. They prefer to pay a little sum of money in this good rather than waste it for transportation fares from going to the city central wherein they can save more through bargaining the prices of goods.
We Pinoys are known for not stocking foods for a long duration as we prefer our foods are fresh and new. Some don’t even know that their “fresh” canned goods usually are stocked for about a week inside the

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