Of new trends and mar­kets

66-year-old firm sees op­por­tu­ni­ties in new trends, mar­kets as it ex­pands with new store – its 1st in 60 years

Cebu Daily News - - ENTERPRISE - By Jose Santino S. Bu­na­chita RE­PORTER

Fast-chang­ing trends in the con­struc­tion sup­ply and ma­te­ri­als sec­tor and to get a big­ger slice of the pro­fes­sion­als in the con­struc­tion in­dus­try have prompted some hard­ware and con­struc­tion sup­ply com­pa­nies to adopt to th­ese changes.

Charles Ken­neth Co, Cebu Oversea Builders as­sis­tant pres­i­dent, said that th­ese rea­sons had prompted their com­pany to do their first ex­pan­sion in 60 years.

“There are a lot of new prod­ucts now that you can­not sell over the phone. Now, in or­der to sell prod­ucts, we have to demon­strate it to our cus­tomers. This is why we de­cided to branch out,” said Co, dur­ing the open­ing of their sec­ond branch along S. Os­meña Road at the North Recla­ma­tion Area in Cebu City.

Cebu Oversea Builders opened their first store in 1952 in Plar­idel Street in down­town Cebu City.

In their first store, Co said they are fo­cused on projects and di­rect whole­sale buy­ers. So most of their trans­ac­tions there are on pa­per­works and of­fice work.

Aside from hous­ing the show­room where their prod­ucts are on dis­play, their new branch at the NRA is also an av­enue for the com­pany to do pre- sen­ta­tions and demon­stra­tions of the prod­ucts they fea­ture and sell.

Train­ing on how to use their prod­ucts can also be done in the area.


Their sec­ond out­let also houses their ware­house for their prod­ucts for both of their branches. Their cus­tomers can also ex­pect af­ter-sales ser­vices as they also of­fer spare parts for the equip­ment and prod­ucts they sell.

“Here, we are tar­get­ing the pro­fes­sion­als so we have a part­ner­ship with dif­fer­ent in­dus­try groups. It’s also our ser­vice for the in­dus­try. We tar­get pro­fes­sion­als not just those in large groups or cor­po­ra­tions but also solo engi- neers or solo ar­chi­tects,” Co ex­plained.

The newly opened Cebu Oversea Builders Cen­tre houses sev­eral brands like Bosch, Husq­varna, Ridgid, On­du­line, Yale, Zenoah, Univer­sal Paint, Shera, Wacker Neu­son, and USG Bo­ral among oth­ers.

Their hard­ware con­struc­tion and fin­ish­ing ma­te­rial prod­ucts in­clude locks, build­ing and con­struc­tion sup­plies, ce­ment, elec­tri­cal sys­tem sup­plies, and cor­ru­gated as­phalt roof­ing tiles. They also sell equip­ment like trac­tors, lawn mow­ers, elec­tric drills, jig­saws, and elec­tric plan­ers, among oth­ers.

Prox­im­ity to port

Ac­cord­ing to Co, they also chose their new lo­ca­tion based on its prox­im­ity to the port area.

He said they plan to also be able to ship their prod­ucts to cus­tomers in neigh­bor­ing prov­inces like Bo­hol, Leyte, and even in Min­danao.

Spa­cious park­ing area

Branch Man­ager Almira Ceniza said their new cen­tre also has a spa­cious park­ing area that can ac­com­mo­date more than 15 ve­hi­cles, some­thing they did not have in their orig­i­nal branch.

She added that they have been on soft open­ing since Novem­ber and have seen the good re­sponse from their cus­tomers.

Ar­chi­tect’s view

Ar­chi­tect Ar­mund Claro, pres­i­dent of the United Ar­chi­tects of the Philip­pinesCebu City Chap­ter, said big­ger show­rooms could help pro­fes­sion­als like them show their plans con­cretely to their clients.

“It’s a big help on our side. When we dis­cuss ma­te­ri­als with our clients, we can bring them to the show­room­soth­ey­cansee for them­selves how the fin­ished prod­uct would look like,” Claro said.

Apart from ar­chi­tects, Claro said this is also help­ful for other pro­fes­sion­als like elec­tri­cal en­gi­neers and civil en­gi­neers.

Claro said that the big­ger park­ing space would also be ben­e­fi­cial for them as they would not have any prob­lems when vis­it­ing or look­ing for sup­plies.

The grand open­ing was held yes­ter­day in time for their 66th an­niver­sary.

Yes­ter­day’s store open­ing was also at­tended by of­fi­cials from sev­eral in­dus­try groups that in­cluded the In­sti­tute of In­te­grated Elec­tri­cal En­gi­neers of the Philip­pines-Cebu, Philip­pine So­ci­ety of United Master Plumbers, As­so­ci­a­tion of Struc­tural En­gi­neers of the Philip­pines, Philip­pine In­sti­tute of Civil En­gi­neers, Philip­pine So­ci­ety of Ven­ti­lat­ing, Air Con­di­tion­ing, & Re­frig­er­at­ing En­gi­neers, Cebu Con­trac­tors’ As­so­ci­a­tion, and the United Ar­chi­tects of the Philip­pines-Cebu City Chap­ter.


James Co, Cebu Oversea Builders CEO (left), leads the open­ing of the firm’s new re­tail con­struc­tion sup­ply store at the North Recla­ma­tion Area in Cebu City. The June 12 open­ing was at­tended by of­fi­cials of dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions in the con­struc­tion...

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