Automatic Centre to close shop, cites pandemic

Appliance company to seek out parties interested in using the brand name

APPLIANCE company Automatic Centre on Wednesday announced that it will be closing shop next month after the pandemic affected its business.

After operating for more than 70 years, the company will stop all retail operations on October 10.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused tremendous challenges on our business and it is with much regret and trepidation that we share this news with you today,” Automatic Appliances, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Lim said in a letter.

Known as the oldest appliance and electronics retail store in the country, Automatic Centre has been selling its goods since it was set up by Benito Lim in 1948.

The company said it will seek out parties interested in using the “Automatic Centre” brand name.

Appliance Centre operates several retail stores in shopping malls across Metro Manila and Cebu City, including Alabang Town Center, Greenbelt, Eastwood Mall, and Trinoma.

The retail industry has been losing revenues as lockdown restrictions and health-related precautions led to a decline in foot traffic in commercial centers during the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Philippine Retailers Association last month asked for quicker vaccine deliveries, noting that the industry is now running out of cash reserves after three major lockdowns since March 2020.

“On behalf of the Lim family, let me take this opportunity to express our sincerest gratitude for the unwavering support you have provided us over the past seven decades,” Mr. Lim said. — Jenina P. Ibañez

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