Growing Together: A Tale of Two Businesses

For a small business, growing at a comfortable pace can be tough. Not only do you have to worry about keeping yourself out of the red, you’ll also have to make the right amount of profit so you have enough to invest back into developing your business.

This was pretty much the reality that Arles Uy was faced with when he started Express Clean, a self-service laundromat, back in 2017. “It was a total risk with doubts and uncertainty involved,” Uy related. He added that starting his business was a gamble with whatever savings he had at the time. “As an entrepreneur, you need to be ready to take those calculated risks.”

But a chance meeting with Alfamart, the first and only Super Minimart chain in the country, changed everything. Fortuitously, Alfamart was looking for partners to grow with, by subleasing some of their space to small businesses. Express Clean began their partnership with Alfamart in December 2017, opening its first branch in San Pedro, Laguna, right beside the store.

Alfamart Express Clean

Since then, Express Clean has expanded to seven branches; each besides an Alfamart store. “Alfamart provided us the platform to jumpstart our growth in the industry,” Uy said. “We saw remarkable potential in the concept of a self-service type of laundry. Our partnership with Alfamart helped us realize it,” he added.

Ever since its entry into the Philippine market in 2014, Alfamart has kept its development grassroots-focused, constantly looking for partners to grow with “When we brought the brand in from Indonesia, we didn’t just take the Alfamart name,” said Alfamart Philippines COO Harvey Ong. “We also brought with it the philosophy of starting from the bottom up, growing with the communities we serve and the partners that we engage with,” he continued.


Much like other small businesses, Express Clean was also affected by the recent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID19) pandemic’s economic impact. “Undeniably, this pandemic has tested the mettle of many businesses, including ours,” Uy said. “Fortunately for us, our operating system has already been established, hence, enabling us to withstand the situation. With the support of Alfamart, as well as the flexible arrangements they provided their tenants during this crisis, not only were we able to consolidate our operations, but we were also able to open up new branches during the lockdown period,” he explained.

“It is through the help of reliable partners that we were able to overcome the challenges of the pandemic,” Ong concurred. “We can rely on them, and they can rely on us,” he concluded.

For more information on how your business can work together with Alfamart, you may visit

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  1. Rosiel Bogñalos says:

    Wow interesting story how alfamart & express clean grow together, bright 💡👍👍

  2. jennifer sarno cruz says:

    wow this is nice at least habang hinihintay mo yung laudry mo ilang hakbang lang pwede ka na mamili ng essentials mo…2in1…galing ng naisip ng alfamart❤️

  3. MA D EL says:

    Nice partnership,tulungan in times of pandemic

  4. sosingerica says:

    Ang galing nito mamu perfect combination sya. Dahil hindi ka magugutom habang naglalaba ka. Dahil ang Laundry shop may katabi na AlfaMart convenience store. Sobrang smart ng owner na si Mr. Aries Uy, two business that will grow together. 😊

  5. David SanchezAntonietteAnti says:

    Wow maganda nga ang combination ni alfamart and express clean dahil habang maghihintay ka pwedeng pwede ka muna kumain galing sana may ganto dito samin

  6. Lyka Mitra says:

    Gandang partnership nga po itong si Alfamart at express clean.. kase patok na rin ponitong self service laundry at may mabibilhan kaagad ng sabon kase katabi si Alfamart..

  7. Jhie Alcantara Viñas says:

    This is a very good idea. While waiting for your laundry to finish you can eat something. You cant feel boredom by this.


    Good partnership, ang generous ni Alfamart.

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