Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

A shopping mall chain vs. a drug store chain? Check out why it’s important to be KIND at all times! [Fridays: Mindfulness by Miles]

December 16, 2022

Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.

A Note from Miles Everson:

Happy Friday, everyone!

We’re thrilled to share with you another important life insight in today’s “Mindfulness by Miles!”

Every Friday, we talk about topics related to wealth, health, and our overall well-being. Our hope is that you’ll find these articles compelling and helpful in both your personal life and career.

Today, we’ll focus on one of the golden rules I personally live by to achieve genuine success, meaning, and happiness in life.

Continue reading to know why it’s important to BE KIND to everyone regardless of your social status.

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Mindfulness by Miles

SM Supermalls, more commonly known as SM, is a chain of shopping malls in the Philippines. As of October 2022, it has 82 branches across the country and 20 more are scheduled to open in the coming years.

SM also has 7 malls in China, including SM Tianjin, which is the second largest mall in the world in terms of gross leasable area (GLA).

Overall, the shopping mall chain has become one of the biggest mall operators in Southeast Asia, with a combined gross floor area (GFA) of 9.2 million square meters, 17,200+ tenants in the Philippines, and 1,800+ tenants in China.

Photo from Lazycred.com

Miles Everson, CEO of MBO Partners, says he hasn’t been to the Philippines yet but his friend and colleague, Professor Joel Litman, goes to the country from time to time to check in with his Filipino workforce at Valens Research and conduct training for them.

Everson says whenever Professor Litman delivers his coaching comments or talks to his colleagues, business partners, clients, etc., one of the things he often talks about is being kind. Sometimes, Professor Litman uses SM’s story as an example to demonstrate his main point.

That made Everson curious about the supermall chain.

Upon looking up SM on the Internet, Everson was personally amazed at the level of success SM’s founder, Henry Sy, achieved. Who would’ve thought that the owner of a small shoe store in Quiapo, Manila in the late 1950s would eventually become the “Philippines’ Retail King” and the “#1 Billionaire in the Philippines” by Forbes Magazine in 2011?

He thought to himself, “There’s definitely something about this man’s story that we all can learn from.”

The Humble Beginnings of SM and Its Founder, Henry Sy: A Lesson on Being Kind

Are you familiar with the urban legends surrounding SM’s establishment and why all SM Malls don’t have Mercury Drugstore, the second oldest drugstore chain in the Philippines, in them?

One story claims it all started when the young Sy opened a small shoe store in Quiapo in 1958 after experiencing failures from different types of businesses.

Since attracting customers was a struggle for Sy’s startup “Shoemart,” he thought of putting his shoe store inside a nearby Mercury Drugstore. After all, the pharmacy chain has been in business for many years, and lots of customers are coming in and out of the store.

So, Sy went to the store’s owner and asked if he could rent a small space for his shoe business. Unfortunately, the owner declined his request and even embarrassed him despite his polite attitude.

Another story states Sy was selling footwear in front of a Mercury Drugstore branch in Quiapo as a sidewalk vendor and was shooed away by the drug store’s security guards.

As a result of either of these claims, there were speculations that Sy resolved to not let the pharmacy chain step into his life and business once he became rich. Thus, the reason why all SM Malls in the Philippines don’t have Mercury Drugstores in them.

Sy was silent about the truthfulness of these urban legends. However, in 2002, his daughter Teresita Sy-Coson spoke up about the issue and said her father and Mariano Que, the founder of Mercury Drugstore, were good friends and this friendship extends to family members.

Additionally, she said the two companies couldn’t agree on rental rates, and that’s the only reason why there are no Mercury Drugstores in SM Malls.

Meanwhile, Mercury Drugstore also released an official statement saying it has “a high regard for Mr. Henry Sy and the SM Enterprise,” and they “respect each other’s business endeavors and maintain a friendly attitude towards each other.”

Everson says while rumors about SM’s founding and the tension between the supermall chain and Mercury Drugstore were debunked, there are still a few lessons to take away from these stories and one of them is about BEING KIND, which includes being slow to judge and not spreading bad gossips about others.

He states kindness is not only beneficial to its recipients but also to those who are exercising it. By being kind to others, you tend to be kind to yourself, get what you give, and make the world a better place.

Think about this: The rumors about SM and Mercury Drugstore paint both companies in a bad light. These accusations make it look like the pharmacy chain is a victim of revenge while the supermall chain is out for revenge.

While these stories have been debunked, they’ve affected the reputation of both companies over the years. Until now, the urban legends are being brought up whenever people talk about SM and Mercury Drugstore.

That’s why it’s important to not be quick to judge or gossip about someone or something especially if you don’t know the real story. By choosing to be kind and understanding rather than easily listening to hearsays, you’ll help make not just the industry but also your entire community better.

We hope you learned a lot from today’s topic!

Show acts of kindness to people today and every day!

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Fridays: Mindfulness by Miles”

High-performance businesses are run by people who think and act differently.

In other words, these are people who are high-performing individuals.

Companies and individuals of this kind have found ways to escape the grind of commoditization and competition by focusing on the RIGHT goals.

High-performing businesses and individuals are also “return driven” businesses and “career driven” individuals. They conscientiously develop unique capabilities and resources that allow them to deliver offerings in ways no other firm or individual can.

Every Friday, we’ll publish tips and insights from MBO Partners and The I Institute’s “The Business Builder Daily” newsletter.

These will help you gain knowledge on the things that Miles Everson, the CEO of MBO Partners, often talks about regarding the future of the workforce.

We’ll also highlight other mindfulness advice on how you can be a high-performing individual both in your career and personal life.

Hope you’ve found this week’s insight interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Friday’s “Mindfulness by Miles!”


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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