THE government is in talks with shopping malls, including SM City and Robinsons, on establishing concept stores that will sell the high quality Philippine products.
Rhodora Leaño, director of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion (DTI-BDTP), noted the mall owners were “very interested” in the idea of a concept store selling local products.
The project was conceptualized by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez. “We hope to put up one model store before the end of the year. The name of the store is Go Local,” she noted.
Go Local stores are not about the usual souvenir items that are available almost anywhere as in cheap regional products of average quality.
“But what it’s meant to be: We only deal with top regional products that will be sold of course at reasonable prices,”
Leaño said, citing the espadrilles footwear made out of yakan cloth and woven by the people of Sulu.
She said the DTI has a list of 900 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) manufacturers out of close to 20,000 MSMEs which may possibly supply the Go Local stores with their products.
“Ideally, each product should have a story behind it. It should say something about the product. The more people know about what they are buying, the more interested they get in patronizing it,” Leaño said.
“The goal of our stores is to serve as channels for MSMEs with little or no market access. These are products that are waiting to be discovered,” she added.
Besides department stores, Leaño noted Philippine Airlines (PAL) is also interested in the project. The flag carrier PAL has online boutiques as well as ground and onboard rolling kiosks that could sell the products.
She said the DTI will take care of product and business development, concept and design branding and promotion.