MANILA, Philippines --- What Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin did on the moon in 1969, Penshoppe, the Philippines' fashion retail giant will do in Jakarta, Dubai, and in the rest of the world in the coming years.
"We are getting ready to plant as many Philippine flags in as many countries as possible," said Bernie Liu, president and CEO of Global ABC, Inc. as he announced yesterday the entry into Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of Penshoppe before the end of the year.
Liu recently led a 10-man Penshoppe delegation to Jakarta, Indonesia to formally sign the franchise agreement it awarded to the MAP Group's PT. Prima Mode Indonesia represented by Agus Gozali.
Penshoppe will join the MAP Group's portfolio of 100 lifestyle brands from around the world such as Sogo, Seibu, Debenhams and the soon-to-open Galleries Lafayette department stores.
In including Penshoppe in its roster of brands, the first from the Philippines, Gozali said "Asian brands are just as good as the western brands. We believe Penshoppe is such a brand. It is a fast fashion brand with great up-to-date styles and product design."
A total of 150 Penshoppe stores are expected to open in Indonesia in the next 10 years. The first two Penshoppe stores that are opening in December 2012 will be in Jakarta's Central Park Mall and at the Mall@ Alam Sutera.
Penshoppe will also open one of its six boutiques in the United Arab Emirates next month in the distinctive retail landmark, Reef Mall in Deira, Dubai. The second boutique will open in December 2012 at the Hamsah Commercial Complex.
"Globalization is a given. We have to spread our wings. Our OFWs have done that, even Jollibee and San Miguel. As we go global, everything else follows," Liu said.
He added that Penshoppe's expansion and its growing coterie of local and international endorsers, the likes of Zac Efron who will be in Manila for a fan conference on September 29, and Mario Maurer, has nothing to do with the brand war or outdoing other brands.
The fashion brand is also looking at returning to China and expanding to North America and Europe in the coming years. "Our story has always been - the star is the brand, not the people behind it," Liu stressed.
When asked if public listing is an option for Penshoppe, Liu answered: "We are still privately owned but we behave like a public company. To be listed is an option someday but at this point, we don't see the need to do so."
To date, Penshoppe has 600 company-owned stores in the Philippines and 12 franchise stores overseas.