Recently introduced to the Philippine market through a collaborative effort with Stores Specialists Inc., Gap has announced its intention to bring another American brand, Old Navy, to the Filipino fashion market. Begun in 1994, Old Navy is one of America's largest clothing retailers at present. It operates under Gap, Inc. and is known for bringing "American fashion essentials" to every family.

This piece of news is yet another testament of the Philippines' ever-growing market for clothes that both local and foreign brands can and should take advantage of at the present. In addition, it also sheds some light as to how this highly competitive industry works.

As proven by the frequent entries of different brands, both local and foreign, into the Philippine clothing scene, the Filipino fashion retailing industry seems to be a very open one with few, if any, barriers to entry. However, this high incentive to enter and take advantage of the burgeoning market for styled clothes is also the same cause for this industry's difficult playing environment. Since entry is almost hassle-free, the industry's many players face a highly competitive market that seeks to take as much consumer loyalty as they can. This is precisely the reason that brand-imaging through strong advertising and franchising techniques are most applicable for this industry. First, brand-retention is very important for these companies because it elicits consumer loyalty for their specific market niche. Hence, while the industry is a very competitive one, one of the strategies of its players is to aim at monopolizing a specific market. Second, franchising is generally one of the best approaches that the players of this industry use because this system is appropriate to the branding characteristic of the fashion industry. Through this system, brand owners get to distribute their operations to other branches and location while ensuring that they maintain their original concept and image of the brand.

Thus, the introduction of even more clothing brands may not be far-off in the near future of the Philippines as its clothing market continues to grow. How these new brands will capture their own mini-monopolies or retain their overall image in the mind of the public will possibly be an interesting match to watch.

Aquino. Coromina. Mendiola.

"Gap plans to open first Old Navy store in Philippines." Fiber2Fashion.com. Accessed 27 September 2013 from http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/garment-apparel-news/philippines/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=151488.
Photo from http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_5mEorzVZjdA/SNv2CBqPzrI/AAAAAAAAFTU/qB8XPWE1jTE/s320/OldNavyLogo.jpg


Aeropostale enters the Philippine fashion retailing scene.

Last May 2013, the retail giant, Aeropostale, finally began operations in our country, the Philippines[1]. It opened their flagship store at the Ground Floor of the New Glorietta in Makati City. The company collaborated with Stores Specialists Inc. who will be their exclusive distributors.

Yet again, another international brand has come to Manila primarily because they see great potential in the Filipino market. Aeropostale believes that the different styles and designs that their products have are absolutely fit for the Filipinos’ preferences, more specifically their target market of high school and college students. The apparel that the brand hands to their consumers complement the kinds that typical young Filipinos would wear. Moreover, the bright and trendy prints that they have are fitting for the Philippine tropical setting[2]. From tops to bottoms, and accessories, Aeropostale provides a wide variety for teenagers and young adults that would truly appreciate.

As mentioned earlier, Stores Specialty Inc. (SSI) is the one in-charge of retail and distribution of the brand here in the country. Known as a corporation that provides the Filipinos with different luxury and designer brands, they still took advantage of the opportunity to bring Aeropostale to the Filipinos because the brand brings out stylish and trendy apparel at an affordable price. The rise of the middle class in our country provides the perfect market for not only the brand, but the retailers as well.

It is important to take note that with the continuous growth the Filipino market that are fashion-conscious, there will also be continuous progress in the Philippine wearing apparel retail sector. It gives a chance for the local brands to update their styles and designs that would fit the current trends given that time period. On the other hand, this gives different retailers the opportunity to bring in international brands to our country.

Overall, the news about the bringing in of the brand of Aeropostale here in the country just proves the increase of demand for the latest trends in fashion which international brands truly wish to provide. Retailers and different brands, whether local or international, are most certainly eyeing the Philippines as a target market because of its great reception of these types of wearing apparel.

[1] "US retail giant now in PH." Manila Standard. http://manilastandardtoday.com/2013/05/06/us-retail-giant-now-in-ph/ (accessed August 18, 2013).
[2] AÉROPOSTALE IS NOW OPEN IN MANILA!. http://blog.triciagosingtian.com/post/53347603266/aeropostalestoreopening (accessed August 18, 2013)
*Photo lifted from Aeropostale PH's Facebook Page

Aquino. Coromina. Mendiola.

"having a large market attracts them 
into starting their businesses here"
            The Fashion retail industry here in the Philippines has most certainly been going strong over the past two years. The [1]industry is empowered by a vast group of young consumers and a swiftly expanding middle class that have high disposable wages. These groups show much interest to the Western type of clothing and are very much well aware of foreign brands.

            In the article that we found entitled, [2]“Why foreign giants are coming to Manila” by Jica Lapena, we learn more about the different global brands that have been opening different branches in our country. These international brands were no less of big names, such as Uniqlo from Japan, Forever21 from the United States, Miss Selfridge from the U.K., Basic House from Korea, and Cotton On from Australia. These brands are brought to our country by some of the different leading retail investment corporations found here such as SM Investment Corp., The Bench Group, and Robinson’s Specialty Stores, Inc.

Throughout the article, we were able to see the different driving forces for these brands to start opening shops in our country. First and foremost, the Filipino people really have been positively receptive of the different styles that these brands have to offer. Consequently, having a large market attracts them into starting their businesses here knowing that Filipino consumers are very much more than willing to spend for their products. Next is that these brands believe that Filipinos have a good sense for fashion, its trends, and value. The styles that the people of the Philippines appreciate greatly manifests what these brands particularly want to bring out in their products. Lastly, there is no question that Filipinos are greatly attracted to sales. Once sales are announced, people almost always grab the opportunity to shop and look for the different apparel that they prefer. They crowd the numerous retail outlets and have a sort of  ‘shopping frenzy.’

As much as these brands want to open stores here in the Philippines, it is also important to take note that the different leading retail investment corporations also knew of the whole situation regarding our country’s awareness and preferences in fashion. The Philippines being a good market for the products that these brands have to offer led them in to promoting these global brands in our home country.

Overall, the article helped in a way that we were able to find out brief but significant information about the different players in the Philippine Fashion retail industry. The different driving forces behind the ideas of both the different international brands and the country’s leading retail investment corporations provide us a good background in our study of the industry.

[1] "Retail Sector in the Philippines." Philippine British Business Council.

[2] Lapena, Jica. "Why foreign clothing giants are coming to Manila." February 6, 2013, http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/292455/lifestyle/design/why-foreign-clothing-giants-are-coming-to-manila (accessed July 19, 2013).

Note: The photo attached to this article was taken from http://philippinestreetfashion.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/cast.jpg.

Aquino. Coromina. Mendiola.