Before it became a household word in 1975, Henry Sy’s first corporate brand was known as Shoemart in 1958.
Supposedly, the initials are also attributed to Henry SY and Senen MENDIOLA, who both started Shoemart. Though, Sy, in addition, integrated his four existing shoe outlets into Shoemart in 1958, in partnership with Senen Mendiola and Lao Kang.
Sy and Mendiola (SM) were former business partners during the formative years and evolution of the would-be largest chain of shoe stores in the Philippines.
The modest Henry Sy, fondly called Tatang, was like a father to Mendiola, a Bedan commerce graduate. Mendiola was Sy’s confidant in the latter’s business dealings.
By all reports, the Mendiola couple was the driving force behind the establishment of one of Henry Sy’s empires, SM Cubao, in 1978.
As always, Sy envisaged stores that would value the hard-earned money of his patrons.
Before his demise in November 2012, Senen Mendiola held vital positions in Henry Sy’s Group of Companies, such as the Vice-Chairman of Shoemart, Inc., Chairman of Pico de Loro Beach and Country Club, Inc., Director of approximately 22 other companies in SM Group, Director of SM Prime Holdings, Inc., and the advisor to Banco de Oro.