Rising from the Ashes
New City Commercial Corporation (NCCC) has been a household name in Davao City for the past four decades.
From what was once a textile store, it has now established itself as a major player in the retail industry, going head-to-head with some of the country’s largest retail companies.
The homegrown company was born out of the hard work of Mr. Lim Tian Siu, who in 1919 travelled from his hometown in Chin Kang, Fukien, China to the Philippines at the age 14 seeking a better life.
Mr. Lim, or Tatay as he is fondly called in NCCC, started out as a cigarette factory worker in Manila. He later rose to the ranks to become a sales agent.
When World War II broke out, Tatay moved out of Manila and settled in a nearby town.
After the war, he moved to Cotabato City where he met his wife, Ko Giok Loo. There, they put up a small trading business that included the buying and selling of freshwater eels.
The family business eventually evolved into a general merchandise store selling basic necessities and other items like shoes and jewelry. However, in 1952, the store caught fire.
Not giving up on his desire to provide for his family, Tatay asked for support from his suppliers and relatives to help his business get back on track. They decided to move to Davao City to begin anew. They established a textile store at Uyanguren Street (now Ramon Magsaysay Avenue) with seven employees. While the business experienced success, it also suffered from a big fire that affected the whole area.
Fueled with determination, Tatay rebuilt their business, which eventually flourished. He never forgot those who trusted him, and repaid all his debtors. He laid a firm foundation of integrity, humility, and hard work.
The children were soon helping out with the operations of the family business. The eldest, Henry, took the lead and provided the leadership that will accelerate the growth of the company. Along the way, he made sure to nurture the values planted by Tatay, and to these he added excellence, care, and fun. These values have continued to fuel the growth of the company in the years to come.
In 1978, the family opened the first NCCC Supermarket and Department Store at Ramon Magsaysay Avenue and named it New City Commercial Center. It was geared towards offering a wide variety of high-quality goods pegged at the lowest price possible and coupled with warm and friendly service from the associates.
By 1987, NCCC opened its Tagum City branch catering to the needs of those in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley.
Then in 1991, NCCC opened its first mall in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. This was also the first mall in the island.
In 1999, the company expanded its branch in Tagum City with the opening of NCCC Mall Tagum.
As the company continued to grow, it has also embarked on a plan to put up its largest mall yet, the NCCC Mall Davao in Matina. In 2003, their mall in Davao opened its doors to the public offering Dabawenyos, especially those living in the south, a new lifestyle center. Among the notable features of the mall are B3 and the NCCC Cinemas. NCCC Cinemas offers mall goers the latest local and foreign movies while B3 is the go to place for Dabawenyos when it comes to bowling or billiards.
After nearly four decades of providing quality products and services, NCCC has diversified its business units, which now includes NCCC Malls, NCCC Supermarket, NCCC Department Store, Choice Mart by NCCC, HB1+ Pharmacy, HardwareMaxx, Breadfactory, Citifoods, and PrintLife.
Breadfactory offers its clients a wide range of breads and pastries. Health and pharmaceutical needs can be bought from HB1+. Meanwhile, hardware and do-it-yourself home fixtures are offered at Hardwaremaxx.
To be able to cater to the basic needs of Dabawenyos living in areas away from the malls, NCCC has strategically established Choice Mart branches around the city offering basic necessities and grocery items to nearby subdivisions wherever it is located.
In 2016, NCCC broke ground for its latest mall, a modern mall in Buhangin. The mall opened its doors in July 2018 to serve the northern part of Davao City, especially the areas of Buhangin, Tigatto, Mandug, and Cabantian, which are residential areas.
Spanning around 8,700 square meters, the four-story mall features a roof garden area, cinemas, retail shops of leading and local brands, and basement parking.
March of 2019, in the pursuit of expanding further, NCCC has acquired and took over the management of Victoria Plaza, Davao’s very first mall which opened in 1993. The 9 hectare-complex is going to be developed by phases in the coming years. At present, the company has more than 100 stores, in all formats, throughout the country.
The NCCC Group of Companies currently has fifteen business units including LTS Pinnacle Holdings, Inc., LTS Retail Specialists, Inc., LTS Malls, Inc., LTS Department Stores, Inc., LTS Hardwares, Inc., LTS City Foods, Inc., LTS Community Stores, Inc., LTS Franchise, Inc., Helen’s Farm, Great Green Earth, Inc., Great Earth Marketing and Development Corporation, Pinnacle Agri-Frontiers, Inc., Dos Palmas Arreceffi Island Resort, Inc., and NCCC Cares.
Through NCCC Cares, the company’s foundation, NCCC and its employees are able to give back to the community through various programs for the youth, family, community, and environment.
Despite having faced many challenges in its early years of the company, Tatay and his family did not stop pursuing the success of their business. From a general merchandise store to a textile store, NCCC now has bloomed into one of the major players in the retail industry not only in Davao City but the whole country as well.
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