Philippine Seven Corp. (PSC), the exclusive licensor of 7-Eleven in the Philippines, is earmarking P711 million to support its franchisees under Pandemic Support Program (PSP).
Jose Victor Paterno, PSC president and chief executive officer announced this at the first online Franchise Town Hall Meeting in early June.
The company began disbursing funds on June 20.
PSP was designed so that franchisees could draw down on the program’s credit line as needed.
PSC said if and when the franchisee’s situation improves, he or she commits to paying down the credit line monthly, at zero interest. Should he or she choose to no longer continue as a franchisee, all outstanding balances from the PSP will be forgiven.
“We are cutting costs across the board, including forced leaves, retrenchments, and a freeze on hiring, salary increases, and store openings,” Paterno said.
Paterno is also calling on landlords to share the pain.
“Most of our 1,000 plus franchisees have to pay rent…We are now asking our landlords to do theirs, because if they do not, the franchisee will have to close the store, as will we for our corporate-run stores. We have a very long list of unprofitable stores right now, and we expect the situation to continue until December at the very least,” he said.
PSC has also abandoned plans to open 400 new stores this year.
At the end of the first quarter, the company had P6.1 billion in cash and P1.8 billion in debt.
It reported profits of P104 million from its 2,916 stores. However, due to the pandemic, 22 percent of its stores were closed as of end April, and 11 percent as of end May.