The Philippine retail scene, traditionally dominated by giants like SM, Robinsons Retail, and Puregold, faces a potential disruptor in DALI, a Swiss grocer quietly gaining traction with support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). As a hard discount retailer, DALI’s strategic expansion into residential areas and proximity to traditional wet markets has seen remarkable success, boasting over 250 stores by the end of 2022, defying pandemic challenges.
DALI’s appeal lies in its low-price, high-quality proposition, resonating amid economic hardships with rising inflation and reduced purchasing power. Positioned as a solution for budget-conscious consumers, DALI is altering the retail landscape, challenging even convenience store operators. Following the hard discount model, DALI keeps operational costs low, with minimal staff and cost-effective display methods. In-house brands for various products, coupled with a selection of imported goods, contribute to its popularity. ADB’s USD 15 million investment in DALI, announced in March, not only supports outlet expansion but also includes the development of distribution centers and a cold chain facility, creating over 4,300 new jobs.
Remarkably, DALI’s success has been achieved without traditional advertising. Relying on positive word of mouth and a robust social media presence, particularly on Facebook, DALI has successfully cultivated a consumer base.
Lisa Macatangay, a teacher and DALI shopper in Lipa City, shares her experience: “Sinubukan ko dahil sabi ng kapitbahay ko mura at mas mura talaga” (I tried it because my neighbor said it’s cheap and indeed it is). “Pili lang ang binebenta pero ito naman talaga yung kailangan mo” (They may have a limited selection, but it’s what you really need).
As DALI continues to quietly revolutionize retail, its cost-effective approach and commitment to quality position it as a compelling option for Filipino consumers seeking affordability without compromising essentials.