PLDT Inc.’s Smart Communications has opened 600 “community stores” in Metro Manila to serve customers and retailers amid the pandemic.
Smart earlier said its physical stores would be closed for the duration of the strict lockdown period following a new wave of COVID-19 infections.
The company said the community stores would serve as avenues for customers to purchase Smart and TNT prepped credits and Wi-Fi devices. At the same time, these will serve the company’s retail partners. Some of the stores will also sell LTE smartphones and process PLDT home fiber applications.
“It’s our commitment to ensure that Filipinos have access to our network and services during this time of need. If they cannot go to us, we will find a way to reach them in their communities,” Alex Caeg, senior vice president and head of consumer sales group at PLDT and Smart.
Smart also deployed smaller outlets in Bulacan, Isabela, Cagayan, Tuguegarao, Quirino, Batangas, Cavite and Mindoro.
It will allow distributors in Laguna, Quezon, Marinduque and Bicol to operate community stores.
“These rolling stores also help retailers keep their livelihood in this time of crisis,” John Palanca, Smart first vice president and regional head for Luzon consumer sales, said in the same statement.
“During the enhanced community quarantine, Smart distributors continued to support their retailers to ensure that they have a continuous inventory of telco loads and Wi-Fi devices to serve their customers,” he added.
Apart from these physical outlets, Smart said customers may still access products and services via official online channels, temporary booths in malls, convenience stores, and partner supermarkets.
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