Wilcon Depot, Libis store, Quezon City


What to expect from a Wilcon Depot store

The digital future of Wilcon should take cues from the success, visual clarity and efficiency of its stores

  • Written and photographed by Lawrence Carlos

In light of Wilcon Depot’s 40th anniversary, I found it fitting to finally make a first visit to a Wilcon Depot store. Spurred on by Wilcon SEVP-Chief Operating Officer Rosemarie B. Ong and CEO Lorraine Belo-Cincochan during a Q&A session at the anniversary promo launch at Marco Polo Ortigas on September 20, 2017, I was encouraged to find out for myself the strategies the company have implemented in ensuring its customers keep coming back and, indeed, attract new ones.

Having familiarized myself with buying and ordering materials and supplies at a few of the other builders merchant brands, I’ve had mixed customer service experiences. But without delving into details of previous anecdotes, it was refreshing to see and experience the level of customer care, clarity in visual signage and layout of product inventory that Wilcon go to every effort in managing day to day.

Wilcon Depot
Tiles are one of Wilcon’s primary products and occupy a large portion of every Wilcon store. Tiles, catering for all types of budget—economical, mid-range and top of the line—are placed side by side to help the customer compare quality and value with ease. (Photo courtesy of Wilcon)

With internet shopping becoming the norm for consumers in all product sectors, Wilcon is keen to enter the e-commerce market proper in the near future. Ong is optimistic in making the online store as appealing as the walk-in stores, in order to reach out to a younger, more tech-savvy customer demographic. There is, no doubt, a lot of work being done at present by the company to lay the framework for a future of digital shopping.

Wilcon Depot
The Boysen ‘Mix & Match’ station where customers can fine tune colors to the customer’s desire.
Wilcon Depot
The tile cutting service that customers can take advantage of, which further prepares the purchased tiles for specific home spatial requirements.

The ease with which customers can research all aspects of products, including product reviews and price comparisons, before even stepping into the store, demands another level of customer service. The onus, therefore, is on the sales associates in store to acquire an extensive knowledge of the store’s products and services, and to be able to answer any query with confidence—something which was in abundance when I asked about several products from different sections of the store. When I asked about which type of shower heater I should buy for my home, a sales assistant handily presented me with diagrams and took the time to explain every permutation—this kind of informed customer relation empowers the buyer to make the best choice possible.

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One way in which Wilcon has already integrated digital technology to increase efficiency and, in effect, serves as a precursor to e-commerce, is the electronic inventory system, which sales assistants can access via portable tablets. Sales staff are able to view the unit stock levels of products in every Wilcon branch in the country, make a customer order for a particular product, send an invoice to the cashier and have their purchases readied for pick up whilst the customer is paying, all through a single device within 15 minutes. Ong says, “We aim to make it stress-free for customers to make decisions, and we make the path of purchase easy and convenient.”

Wilcon Depot
Every customer ‘expert’ assistant is equipped with a portable tablet on hand to access the centralized inventory system, which displays stock levels across all Wilcon branches, and enables you to make orders and payments very efficiently.
Wilcon Depot Libis
The Design Hub is a service which allows customers to visualize the products and swatches they choose in virtual interior spaces. “It’s simple and user-friendly. Just input the size and dimensions of your space and drag and drop whatever product you like,” says Ong. The stores have in-house designers to assist clients and recommend appropriate sizes and styles of items. Providing customers with price options and cost estimates, and letting the customer design their spaces gives them a sense of ownership with the products they wish to buy.

Despite a shift of focus in preparing the company for a new era for online shopping, Ong reinforces the importance of upkeeping the unique experience of touching and seeing products first hand and coupling this with the highest quality of service in store. The physical store remains at the core of the company’s brand strategy and Wilcon is not about to rest on its laurels—there are 39 stores nationwide, with a further 5 stores to open this year, and 7 more planned for next.

Wilcon Depot Libis
The ABCDE Lounge offers designer and builder professionals as well as clients a dedicated space to hold meetings. With the whole of the store at one’s disposal, being able to experience the variety of product options side by side, better decisions can be made when purchasing the right product.

I left the store wondering what kind of materials and products I would have bought for my home had I known earlier about the unrivalled selections available in store. From this visit alone, I’m convinced I’ll be coming back. Here’s to the next 40 years! 

Wilcon Depot Grohe
Customers can test faucets and shower heads with running water in this bespoke Grohe display unit, found on the second floor in the Libis store.
The living, kitchen and bath displays require more space, not just for the products but to be able to view them properly. The displays are more curated to mimic the home setting. (Photo courtesy of Wilcon)

 

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Wilcon launches 40 years raffle promo

Marking its 40th anniversary in the construction supply industry, Wilcon Depot is giving back to their valued customers through Wilcon 40 Years Raffle Promo.

Wilcon President and CEO Lorraine Belo-Cincochan said that this is one way of keeping and fulfilling their promise in building big ideas for Filipinos. They give the customers assurance that they are committed in carrying their products and experiences with the same amount of passion and service that they have for the past 40 years.

“This is our way of giving back to our customers for their unceasing patronage that can certainly add thrill and excitement in their home shopping experience. We always look forward and think big in conceptualizing to give only the best kind of promo offerings to our clients,” Wilcon SEVP-Chief Operating Officer Rosemarie B. Ong said as she expressed her gratitude towards the attendees for the continuous support the company has been receiving through the years.

Starting October 1 to October 31, 2017, forty (40) lucky Wilcon customers will get a chance to win P40,000 worth of Wilcon e-GCs. To join, simply shop at any Wilcon branches nationwide and earn one raffle entry for every single P5,000.00 cash or card purchase. Customers can register at Wilcon website URL: www.wilcon.com.ph/upload/Wilcon40yearspromo where they can submit multiple entries per log-in session. Registration is one-time only. Electronic raffle draw is scheduled on November 7, 2017.

Learn more of this promo by visiting any Wilcon stores near you or log on to www.wilcon.com.ph. Follow and like their social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram (@wilcondepot.ph).

Wilcon Depot anniversary promo