Built in September 1975, SM Makati is the flagship store of Shoe Mart, a small shoe retail store that had its roots in the 1950s. The first retail store was founded by Henry Sy Senior right in the heart of Carriedo, Manila’s commercial district in the 1950s up to mid 70s. In the 1950s Sy traveled back and forth to New York to buy shoes to sell in his store and get ideas on how to be successful in the retail industry. His diligence paid off and by 1972 he built his first department store in Quiapo, a stone’s throw away from his humble Carriedo store.
The move to Makati was a clever one. Manila was slowly deteriorating due to congestion and maybe its proximity to Malacanang and the University belt where demonstrations and rallies were evident prior to the and because of the declaration of Martial Law. Makati was slowly being groomed into the new commercial district and any company who can afford the move to Makati slowly but surely packed their corporations and settled in Makati.
Henry Sy Sr. saw that and built his first flagship department store in Makati. The idea of one store selling all that one could possibly need was a success! Though the initial items sold at SM were inferior in quality as compared with the then Class A smaller-scale department store Rustan’s, SM was still a hit because it was selling very affordable items.
The store eventually upgraded its services and quality of items sold. Today, shopping at SM has come a long way. The SM Makati branch was revamped a few years back and has now walkways to neighboring Glorietta 1 and a direct access to the MRT station. One can literally shop for everything one needs at SM Makati. It is a department store and not a mall, although the department store itself carries numerous local and imported named-brands of clothes and shoes. Items sold at SM are quite affordable and of good quality too. There are no cinemas at SM Makati since it is solely a big department store. There are satellite
coffee shops and snack bars in specific areas and a fast food center at the lower ground where
the supermarket is. SM has now 37 supermalls nationwide and as its ad says “it is truly a one-
stop shopping” destination.