By Jade C. Zaldivar High-end, membership-only shopping club S&R has set its sight on Davao City for its seventh branch in the country. In a courtesy call on City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, S&R president Anthony Sy bared his company’s plan to take root in the city. Sy said S&R Membership has acquired a lot along McArthur Highway across NCCC Mall where the firm will construct a building. “We’re starting construction in April and we’re targeting to open late November or early December,” Sy told the lady mayor in the latter’s office February 28. S&R is a membership-shopping club modeled after the warehouse membership shopping chains introduced in the United States. “Our aim is to deliver significant value to member-customers through an effective and efficient system anchored on aggressive buying, low-cost distribution and streamlined operations,” said S&R administrative manager Antonio See. The membership shopping provides an expansive selection of imported and local items in value packed sizes. S&R currently has six branches located in Bonifacio Global City, Alabang, Congressional Ave. in Quezon City, Aseana-Baclaran, Cebu, and Pampanga. Sy expressed confidence of their investment here, saying the city “has a lot of potential.” “We have done our research and we are confident that the Davao market will be vibrant,” the S&R president said. Mayor Duterte-Carpio, on her part, offered assistance to the investor. “Let us know how we can be of help. It’s a very positive development. I hope for your successful opening,” Duterte said. Sy said the shopping mart would hire about 150 employees but would rise to about 200 during peak months. Meanwhile, Sy also confirmed that S&R owner Filipino-Chinese businessman Lucio Co is mulling the possibility of merging the shopping club with the flagship Puregold chain of supermarkets. “It is being discussed,” Sy said shortly. The business society buzzed after Puregold said in February that its board had authorized management to discuss the possible merger. Puregold plans to open 24 branches this year to add to their 100 branches of which 38 opened in 2011.