Automatic Centre Timeline History
The Leader in Appliance Retailing
For more than 60 years over 10 million satisfied customers have been coming back to Automatic Centre for the best and the latest top-brand appliances. We make sure they get the best service, the best deals, convenient payment options extended after-sales service, and other premium programs that have gained for Automatic Centre various honors through the decades, including the "Retailer of the Year" award in 1998.
Automatic Centre's solid reputation was built over a span of more than half-a-century, founded on the guiding principles of its founding chairman, Don Benito Lim, namely: the heart to honor our past, the mind to visualize the future, the skills to excel today, and the will to serve always.
Automatic Centre's mission is to serve the greatest number of people, and its vision is to transform every household into a comfortable and efficient home where the family can enjoy an enhanced quality of life.
These philosophies have made Automatic Centre a true pioneer in appliance and furniture retailing.
Honoring Our Past
THE PRE-WAR YEARS: Prior to the Japanese occupation, the Lim family was engaged in the furniture business, owning the three biggest furniture stores in the country at that time. However, during the Japanese occupation, the business closed down.
AFTER THE WAR: Immediately after the liberation in 1946, Automatic electrical appliances was born. Its first outlet was a 40-square-meter store along Avenida Rizal in Manila, the post-war era's main shopping street. It sold transistor radios, light bulbs, wires, sockets, and other electrical supplies.
Because of the news blackout during the Japanese occupation, news became a prime commodity; hence, there was a huge demand for radios. Don Benito Lim read that radio manufacturer, American factors, was looking for dealers of their radios. After applying for a dealership, they looked up his place and consigned five radios to him at no deposit.
He replenished his stocks soon enough, approached one manufacturer after another, and began to establish himself as a fair dealer. Such were the efforts of a hardworking, young businessman with a sincere heart to serve his fellowmen by providing their needs at the most reasonable prices.
MILESTONES: In 1964, Automatic Appliances set up a 200-square-meter branch at the Makati Commercial Center. Pioneering the concept of appliance super marketing, the store carried all of the major brands at that time such as, General electric, Sony, Carrier, Fedders, Admiral, and among others.
In 1977, the store evolved into a 3,400-square-meter showroom called Automatic Centre. It introduced Blims Fine Furniture, which became an integral section of the store. Originally, it was engaged in selling locally manufactured furniture and home furnishings. Soon thereafter, it expanded its horizons by getting into importing in the early 1980's.
Growth, Stability, and Leadership
Automatic Centre's corporate philosophy is to uplift the Filipino's standard of living by offering quality products at the most reasonable prices and the best service for the total satisfaction of the greatest number of customers.
With this dictum, Automatic Centre captured about 15% of the market share of the most major products sold by the top suppliers in the country. With certain product lines, it even sold up to 50% of the total production. It then garnered major awards from National, Sony, Carrier, GE, Westinghouse, Sharp and other manufacturers.
In 1980, Automatic Centre set up Collins International Trading Corporations (CITC) to act as its distribution arm. Collins has since been a distributor of global brands such as Sharp(Japan), Timex(USA), Marathon(Korea), Camping Gaz (France), Soenhle (Germany) and Moulinex (France), among many others, reflecting the company's stability and integrity as a strong marketing entity.
Our Vision of the Future
Upon celebrating its 60th anniversary, Automatic Centre was all set to face the next 60 years with renewed vigor, ready to keep abreast with the fast-paced changes brought by new technologies and globalization.
We may be relatively big in our country but in global scene we are small, which is why we want to take a quantum leap towards assuming a global size. With this goal, we can continue our mission of uplifting the lives of the Filipinos by offering them the best products from all over the world at the most reasonable prices.