Our History

From the dream of selling a good pair of shoes to every Filipino, SM founder Henry Sy, Sr. has laid the groundwork and piloted the development and evolution of SM Investments Corporation (SM) into one of the country’s largest holding companies in the Philippines today.

For nearly six decades, SM has demonstrated its leading presence in retail, banking, and property development in the Philippines with a rising presence in China, innovating to provide best-value in products and services across various customers.

Through careful planning and execution, SM takes inspiration from its millions of stakeholders whose lives are shaped by their aspirations and constant desire for a better quality of life. As it continues to build on these aspirations, SM fulfills its catalyst role by expanding through its core businesses, generating employment, business activity and overall progress in its host communities. SM stands firm in its commitment toward change by promoting more value and greater convenience, stimulating growth and inspiring millions toward realizing their lifelong dreams.



  • Founder Henry Sy, Sr. opened a shoe store along Rizal Avenue called Shoemart and a second one on Carriedo, Manila.


  • The shoe store, Shoemart Makati, opened its doors to the public in 1963. Without losing momentum, Shoemart Cubao opened five years later.


  • Launched in 1972, Shoemart Manila on Calle Echague was transformed into the first of Mr. Sy’s department stores. The opening of the department store, SM Makati in 1975 was a accompanied by a dramatic corporate rebranding where Mr. Sy’s stores would be rechristened as SM from SM Department Store. From its racks would spring fashion trends that would define fashion in the metro. In 1978, SM Cubao opened, tapping into the large pedestrian population of that area.
  • Despite ongoing political and economic challenges, there was marked growth in SM as new department stores opened in Cubao, Quezon City and Harrison in Manila at this time.
  • The natural progression of store to mall happened when Mr. Sy opened his first mall on EDSA in November 1985. SM North EDSA, a 125,000 square meter-mall, opened at a time when the country was plunged into one of the most turbulent periods of political history.
  • SM Supermarket also became one of the anchor stores in SM North EDSA alongside SM Department Store.
  • The 1990s could be characterized as the start of the malling phenomenon as SM built one new mall after another. SM opened SM City Sta. Mesa in 1990, SM Megamall in 1991 and SM City Cebu in 1993.
  • SM Prime Holdings, Inc. was incorporated to become the vehicle for SM's mall operations. It went public this year to enhance its funding capabilities and increase SM Prime's growth momentum in mall development.
  • SM's first mall in China opened in Xiamen, then owned by the Sy family with a gross floor area (GFA) of 128,000 square meters (sqm.), almost similar in size to SM City Sta. Mesa and is 100% occupied.
  • SM Development Corporation, SM's property developer, unveiled its maiden condominium project, the Chateau Elysee in Bicutan, Paranaque, marking its foray into the residential space.
  • SM Investments went public and raised over USD500 million and was considered the largest IPO at that time.
  • SM Mall of Asia, SM Prime's flagship and the country's largest mall back then, was opened fronting the scenic Manila Bay in Pasay City. The mall was the anchor development in the 60-hectare reclaimed property now known as the Mall of Asia Complex.
  • Later in the year, SM bought a majority stake in Equitable PCI Bank and merged it with BDO.
  • This year saw the acquisition of the supermarket and hypermarket businesses by SM from the Sy family.
  • SM launched Hamilo Coast, a large-scale eco-tourism project in Batangas.
  • SM Hotels was also organized to oversee various hotel investments of the group in line with the SM's tourism initiatives.
  • SM Prime acquires three projects in China --Xiamen, JinJiang and Chengdu from the Sy family. The move allowed SM Prime gain a foothold in China's fast-growing economy for long-term growth outside of the Philippines.
  • SM Prime Holdings announced a landmark merger of all SM's property assets to create a company that holds interests in malls, residences (under SM Development Corporation), offices, hotels and convention centers (SM Hotels and Conventions Corp.) as well as leisure-related developments (Costa del Hamilo, Inc.). The merger resulted in the creation of one of the largest property conglomerates in Southeast Asia.
  • SM launched its American Depositary Receipt (ADR) Level 1 program. Under this, ADR securities issued in the US representing SM common shares can be traded over-the-counter. This allowed US investors to trade SM common shares in their own time zone and to settle transactions locally.
  • SM Prime opens SM Seaside City Cebu, the anchor development in the 30-hectare integrated property on reclaimed land in that province. SM Seaside Cebu, with a gross floorplate of 430,000 square meters is envisioned to be a premier destination in the Visayas and Mindanao regions.
  • SM Investments Corporation announced the merger of its retail arm, SM Retail Inc. (SM Retail) with several related retail companies that will include a diverse portfolio of food, household appliances, DIY, furniture, apparel, footwear, pharmaceuticals/cosmetics and specialty retailing stores.