Call Center Malls: SM and Robinsons

From SMIC to build 10-floor call center building:

Publicly-listed SM Investments Corp. (SMIC), the flagship holding company of mall magnate Henry Sy, will start construction of a 10-storey call center building beside the SM Mall of Asia within the first quarter next year.

This is on top of the existing building. At present, “Cyberzone” is the brand name for SM’s retail computer and cellphones at Megamall Ortigas and North EDSA. SM has a big client already:

Dell will lease the entire second floor of SM CyberZone 1 with total floor space of 14,000 square meters. A supermarket will operate in the first floor and the third to sixth floors will serve as parking facility.

Dell is currently training its team after moving out of other call center providers.

From running a “ShoeMart,” to outsourcing.

The top SM competitor is also buy. Robinsons Land opens Lipa, Bacolod malls to call centers. This will tap talents in Batangas and Negros, on top of their Cainta Rizal and Novaliches Quezon City locations.

So the mall lifestyle and call center lifestyle are converging?

Setting up a call center facility inside a commercial establishment such as malls is now an emerging trend among call center operators because of the insufficient office space available in the metro and easy access to mall amenities for the agents.

And probably because outside of the Metro Manila call center hubs, it is not practical – or safe – to go out in the streets in the middle of your shift.

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  • Will this start the trend of the 24 hour malls? Abangan…

  • Already, there is an emergence of 24-hour establishments (fast-food chains, entertainment centers, cafes etc.) around call centers. The City of Makati is also looking at improving security and public transport during graveyard shifts.

    These are indeed features that are almost “instantly” available once they put call centers in (24-hour) malls.

  • There’s already a call center in Market Market right?

  • 24 hour malls? Sure, if it would make sense for Messrs. Sy and Gokongwei!

    I heard of the Market Market call center but can’t verify it on the web. So Ayala isn’t far behind?

  • Krakista

    Nothing new with that except that workplaces are spreading throughout the metro and no longer concentrated in business districts like Ortigas and Ayala. Eastwood, Libis was the first to take in call centers to drive traffic to their establishments. Market! Market! has Ambergris in their premises, Gateway Mall has Accenture BPO, there’s SYKES in the Gilmore computer hub, and there around 4 call centers in the Fairview area. The good thing about this is people now have a choice of working closer to home. Less time commuting means more time for life. As for 24 hour malls, I think it’s a lame idea. People at call centers are mostly at work from 10PM to 6AM. Who are gonna fill the malls past midnight when they’re at work and everybody else is sleeping?

  • I hope SM Clark, Pampanga will have such building, too. Clark can never have too much call centers.

  • riche

    when sun cellular was entering dumaguete two or three years ago, i chanced to know some people bringing the company to our place, one of which is a former leasing consultant for robinsons, if my memory serves me right, in ermita (sun cell and robinsons are sister companies). aside from bringing sun to dumaguete, they were also scouting for a sight in which to locate robinsons dumaguete. at that time, the callcenter industry was just taking off, and we knew that dumaguete would be one of the places that would be targeted by callcenter companies for their expansion. in fact, there were already visits by callcenter companies at that time. i asked the lady consultant if it would be possible that a callcenter would be located in their mall, should they finally find a site there in dumaguete. after all, i was thinking, what they are after are people, lots of people with big enough income to gobble up all the wares peddled in their establishment. her reply was: that is an absurd idea. an industrial activity (callcenter) could not merge with a commercial one. but i found out a year after that robinsons novaliches would be hosting a big callcenter firm. and soon other malls are following suit…

  • what if …

    a call center was located at your the nearby neighborhood internet shop? …

    This is the idea i’m tossing around in “BPO: The Philippines’ next cottage industry?

    ka edong

  • Nice, but how about the Quality Assurance?

  • Krakista

    There’s a 20-seat call center beside an Internet Cafe in a strip mall next door to where I live.

  • riche

    now i remembered it right. that was almost two years ago. epixtar had just broken ground to what was supposed to be the first callcenter in the provinces outside manila, subic and cebu, attended by no less than president arroyo herself. what triggered that thought, of locating a callcenter in a mall was the PEZA document that I borrowed from the local DTI on guidelines on operating IT Parks. That document stipulated that an accredited IT zone which should be at least five hectares will get a 3-5 years tax holiday. I presented to her a smart idea: what if your mall is declared as an IT zone by the PEZA, then your mall might not be paying taxes for 3-5 years! Immediately after that she gobbled up all the documents that I had, including the ones I had in my house for my research, and did not return the documents to me until now. I paid the DTI office in Dumaguete for those documents, but am not sure if they were able to secure a similar one.

  • riche

    For sure, callcenter located in malls will thrive, and many other malls will convert entire floors or several of their spaces for these services for the following reasons:

    1. Callcenter workers are highly paid, and at the end of the day, will they still go to other establishments to spend their money?

    2. If declared as an IT zone, a mall will enjoy income tax-holiday for 3-5 years.

    Now, it is said in the PEZA guidelines that an IT Park or an IT zone should be at least 5 hectares, but the first IT Park in Dumaguete, the SPI Technology Park is only 1.6 hectares. Recently, I read over the newspaper that PEZA has relaxed the space requirement for an area to be declared an IT zone. So expect more malls to get PEZA accreditation!

  • Ashley

    well,its good to hear that a call center will soon conquer batangas region….maybe i would transfer on my homeland…..this news is a great opportunities to those who seek jobs…..

  • Ashley

    great news!great opportunities!!!!im looking forward for the call center that soon would be born in my hometown……i dont have to work in manila bec there would be a new career with the same field….and thats cool…hoping to know more infos about it!!!!

  • Yes, Robinsons is also locating alongside Teletech building in Dumaguete…a trend they have started here in Metro Manila…

  • emac

    Everything about call centers in the Philippines, visit . Find call center jobs business process outsourcing, articles, news, discussions… Call center in the Philippines

  • yayi

    How about here in Baguio City? I often passby the building near people support. When will it start opertating or hiring employees? I want to apply there it’s nearer rather than going to loakan.

  • wendy

    what is the nearest call center in sm fairview?tnx a lot

  • glaiza wong

    pls contct me wiling to wrk in youf company 0905608817

  • glaiza wong