ANYONE who has walked through a mall these past few months would have been hard put not to notice the increasing number of tarpaulins covering spaces where a familiar store or favorite restaurant used to be. Despite the cheery messages on the tarpaulins — in the line of “Watch this space for an exciting new concept!!!” — it would be hard not to think the worst. But Ayala malls is counteracting this pessimism with an announcement that it has recently opened and will be opening more local and global flagship stores at Glorietta, Greenbelt, Bonifacio High Street, and Ayala Malls Manila Bay this year.
“We’re very pleased to be the home of several flagship stores from various retail segments. We are glad to note that confidence in the market continues to be felt despite these unprecedented times. We have already opened some, but there’s definitely a lot to look forward to in the coming months ahead,” Ayala Malls President Christopher Maglanoc said in a statement.
“We are also dedicated to supporting our local merchants and SMEs (small-medium enterprises) by giving them an avenue to showcase their products. We have several collaborative projects with local communities through various pop-up stores that showcase Filipino talent and design. Meanwhile, as we welcome back our shoppers, we wish to assure the public that safe shopping continues to be a top priority,” Mr. Maglanoc said.
This year, Greenbelt is set to open bigger stores and welcome new luxury brands. Greenbelts 3, whose ongoing renovation is nearly complete, will also be home to new fashion concepts and a Premium Gallery.
A bigger Louis Vuitton store will be opening soon. Other brands from the LVMH Group opening stores at Greenbelt this year are Fendi, Dior, Bvlgari, and Celine.
Other soon to open stores are Japanese fashion house Kenzo, luxury streetwear brands Off White and Univers.
Parisian perfume and cosmetics brand Officine Universelle Buly is opening its first store in the Philippines this year at Greenbelt 3. Also opening its first store in the country is Italy’s largest fashion house Max Mara, whose collections vary from casual apparel, bags, shoes, and accessories, to bridal wear.
Last year, the first branch of luxury skincare brand Aesop opened at Greenbelt
In 2022, luxury shoe brand Roger Vivier will open its first store in the country. Other Stores Specialist, Inc. labels that are launching in 2022 are Jimmy Choo, Loewe, Chloe, Tod’s, Ermenegildo Zegna, and Salvatore Ferragamo.
BONIFACIO HIGH STREET
Bonifacio High Street, already the home of the flagship store of sportswear brand Nike, saw the first and only Jordan Store in Southeast Asia open there in December 2020. Aside from it carrying a large collection of apparel for men, women, and kids, it also has a rooftop basketball court with a unique mural designed by New York City artist Kimou Meyer.
Meanwhile, at 1,000 square meters, Greenbelt is home to Toby’s Sports largest store in the country. It is also one of the first stores in the Philippines to integrate touch-screen and interactive walls, which customers can use to browse the brand’s website and learn about its latest products.
AYALA MALLS MANILA BAY
Ayala Malls Manila Bay — the biggest of Ayala Malls to date — is appropriately the home of the biggest OPPO Experience Store in the Philippines. The store was partly inspired by the aesthetics of the brand’s super flagship stores in China, Singapore, and Thailand. It was also strategically designed to highlight the brand’s own line of Internet of Things products.
The mall is also where one can find the biggest Huawei High-End Experience Store. Aside from selling its flagship devices, it also has a dedicated space for specific interests such as photography, music, sports, health, office, and gaming.
Amidst the busy business district, Glorietta is preparing for the opening of Surge Fitness. The 1,384-square meter gym, which will be open 24/7, is targeted to open by August, once given the go-ahead by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and the Makati government. Gym-enthusiasts can expect a safe fitness haven as safety protocols will strictly be implemented.
Several other sports brands are scheduled to open their flagship stores at Glorietta within the year.
“We are truly hopeful that the industry is slowly on the path to recovery, especially with further easing up of restrictions. We look forward to welcoming back more of our patrons as Ayala Malls continues to provide safe shopping in compliance with the protocols and guidelines by the IATF,” Mr. Maglanoc said in the statement.