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

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