Francorp - The Franchising Leader in the Philippines
Francorp - The Franchising Leader in the Philippines

Franchise Hotline : (+632) 638.3149 to 50

BANK ON A SOLID PAWNSHOP BIZ

Anyone from Urdaneta, Pangasinan, would know a familiar name – CB Estrada Pawnshop – one of the pioneers of the pawnshop industry in the province which has made a name for itself since 1984. With its low interest rates and high appraisal values, CBE has truly been a loyal service arm to Pangasinenses, assisting them in their financial needs. Its mission statement is summarized by the acronym CARE – Credible and reliable business operations, Accessible branches, Reach because of its many branches, and that, it Exceeds customer satisfaction.

cbe-pawnshop

CBE will now be strategically located in different parts of the country thanks to franchising. There are already 10 branches manned by well-trained employees whose priority is serving customers with a smile and welcoming them with warm greetings. Unlike their competitors, CBE uses advanced information systems for fast and organized transactions and updated customer proiles. The system is run by I.T. specialists and skilled employees trained in Manila. For 100% security of the pawned items, security equipment is in every corner of the shop and highly trained guards are stationed at all times.

For a franchise fee of P 450,000 and a total investment of P 2.32 to P 3.4 million, including deposits and working capital, a CBE pawnshop franchise may no longer be just a household word in Pangasinan but in other parts of the Philippines as well.

For franchise details, please call (075) 568-2443, 656-8964, 0922-8348906 or Email deaneric.estrada@yahoo.com.ph.

 


 

Franchise program is proudly developed by Francorp Philippines and it’s team of international franchise development consultants. Learn How to Franchise your Business in our monthly seminar, or take a franchise test to see if your business is ready to franchise!

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Franchise Talk: Bringing the Feast from Cebu to the World

By Sam Christopher Lim
SVP for Marketing and Strategy, Francorp Philippines

 

 

With a target of reaching 100 stores both locally and internationally, Hukad sa Golden Cowrie has come a long way from its humble beginnings in Cebu in 1982. Kenneth Kokseng, Managing Director of Hukad sa Golden Cowrie shares some insights on what it takes to grow a brand nationally through franchising.

hukad

1. With over 40 restaurants across the Visayas and Mindanao, Hukad sa Golden Cowrie continues to expand at an accelerated pace. What’s the secret to your success?

There is no secret to our success. What brought us to where we are right now is how we value not just our customers but also our partners — every one we work with and who have contributed to the growth of the business from our franchisees, suppliers and staff, among others. We always believe in empowering our team and working together to give customers food that is consistent in quality and service that aims to delight for a dining experience that is memorable each and every time. Most of all, we communicate with and listen by heart. We listen  to the needs of our customers and partners, their needs and recommendations, foster a culture and environment of trust and confidence and treat them as part of our family. We in still a non-traditional way of doing and getting things done in a fast and efficient way.

 

2. The F&B market is very busy with both foreign and local brands expanding, what do you think will make Hukad sa Golden Cowrie successful in Metro Manila?

Golden Cowrie has proven its success in the Visayas and Mindanao. I’m confident that with the dishes and experience we offer combined with excellent customer service, we can be successful in Manila as well. What we offer is something close to the hearts of all the Filipinos.

We have studied the market and in order to be competitive, we are looking at adjusting the menu offerings a bit and developing a marketing strategy that would best target the clientele we are eyeing in Manila. A plus factor for us is having franchisees that share the same set of values and principles that we have.

 

3. You started your franchise expansion in the Visayas & Mindanao, why did you wait until 2016 to expand into Metro Manila?

There is wisdom in increasing one’s fence and sphere of influence slowly but surely. In our case, it took us some time to position Hukad sa Golden Cowrie, Golden Cowrie’s mall-based restaurant, in strategic locations around the Visayas and Mindanao. We learned a lot from the experiences of franchising the business. With the right locations, this year, 2016, is the right time to penetrate the untapped areas of Luzon.

4. We’ve been seeing more and more brands from Cebu and other regions expand through franchising, what are some pieces of advice you can give to entrepreneurs from Visayas & Mindanao who want to expand through franchising?

Choose business partners that share the same set of values, principles and goals with the company. Be the right fit for one another. This way, conflicts that hinder growth can be avoided and both parties can work together and focus on expanding the business.

 

5. You developed and grew the brand in Cebu, what do you think sets the Cebuano customer& market apart and how will this help as you expand?

Each dish has a story to tell. Golden Cowrie started with a simple menu in a charming, breezy eatery made of bamboo and sawali, which are woven split bamboo mats and has evolved into what it is today, 33 years after. Our brand is not just your typical Filipino restaurant. It is reminiscent of Filipino celebrations where family and friends come together to share festive moments. Ask a typical Cebuano where he celebrates birthdays, reunions or any special occasion, or even where to take a balikbayan or a non-Cebuano friend and the answer is always Golden Cowrie. More than a brand it is a restaurant they have grown up with and through the years, and after so many special occasions celebrated with us, our customers, who span many generations, still continue to come back.

 

 

Proudly developed by Francorp Philippines and it’s team of international franchise development consultants. Learn How to Franchise your Business in our monthly seminar, or take a franchise test to see if your business is ready to franchise! 

 

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Franchise Talk: How Successful Franchisors Think

By Joselito G. Samson, CFE

 

thinkAs a franchise consultant, I have met and talked to a lot of entrepreneurs who have varying thoughts about franchising and what it can do for their business. And for those whom I have seen succeed because they chose the franchising path, these are their characteristics which made them stand out:

 

Knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses.

These successful franchisors know and then acknowledge that, indeed, they have strengths and weaknesses. Fully knowing what their core competence is, they are open to delegating tasks in areas where they are weak. Franchising to them is a unique industry that requires specific expertise to plan out and build the right organizational structures. At the outset, these entrepreneurs understand the value of getting things right.

 

Passion for teaching

Franchise entrepreneurs like to share their successes via teaching or mentoring their Franchisees. This trait is critical to building a long-term and mutually satisfying franchisor-franchisee relationship that is based on trust, exchange of ideas, openness to suggestions and yes, replicating the successful business model. More than the documents that bind franchisor-to-franchisee, a harmonious relationship will ensure a fruitful and profitable partnership, especially because franchisee suggestions/feedbacks, when coursed through the franchising system, are valuable listening posts for customer feedbacks and preference.

 

man backAbility to see the big picture.

One of the biggest mistaken notions that entrepreneurs have when embarking into franchising is thinking about the business as costing very little effort and money but returning huge paybacks.

On the contrary, franchising requires thorough study, needing, at the very least, a Franchise Business Plan, Franchise Agreement and a Franchise Operations Manual. Setting up a Franchise System is meticulous and will require additional investment. A potential Franchisor must assess his current company structure, cost structures, operations, training capabilities and supply chain to determine if it can handle additional operating units generated from selling franchises.

As for the “huge payback”, this will not be realized on the first, or even, on the second year of the franchise offering. During these times, you are still developing efficiencies as a franchisor, putting in place your franchise support systems and are still learning the ropes of managing the system. What you will get during these stages of development is an increase in the number of branches/stores as well as sales volume generated from newly opened franchised units.

 

Franchisors should also give careful thought about selecting and awarding franchises. A franchise term is usually from three to eight years, it is crucial that you get the “right franchisee” since they will be your “partner” in growth. Therefore, it is in your best interest to ensure that they too experience profitability and success. Eventually, they will be your best selling proposition.

Franchising is an effective strategy for companies who looking to expand their business. But having the right mindset as a Franchisor will dictate whether you will be a success or a failure in Franchising. An honest assessment of one’s mindset and objective will spell the difference between failure and success.

Learn How to Franchise your Business in our monthly seminar, or take a franchise test to see if your business is ready to franchise! 

For more information on franchising, please contactFrancorp Philippines (+632) 638-3149, email info[at]francorp.com.ph or visit francorp.com.ph   

Lito is the Associate Vice President for Consulting of Francorp Philippines (francorp.com.ph). His training and experience in the field of fast food operations cover 15 years, starting with McDonald’s, Carl’s Jr., Burger Machine and Jollibee. He is a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) and is a certified Serv Safe Executive.

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Francorp Philippines launches Franchise Quality Seal

Since 1997, the Philippines has seen massive growth in the franchise industry. With more than 1,500 franchise brands in the country to choose from today, potential franchise buyers are now spoilt for choice. But, truth be told, they are also likely to fall prey to unregistered, fly-by-night concepts in their quest for the perfect franchise business.

 

Indeed, with so many franchise businesses to choose from, it can be hard for any potential franchise buyer to distinguish which ones are legitimate and have a properly developed franchise program. In a bid to ensure franchise excellence in the country, and to set the benchmark for quality among its franchise clients, Francorp Philippines is launching the Franchise Quality Seal.

francorp-franchise-seal

 

What is the Franchise Quality Seal?

 

The Franchise Quality Seal is a seal of excellence that will be awarded to professional franchisors that are growing their franchise businesses under the highest standards of quality. It will serve as a testament to the quality of the franchise program and to the franchisor’s credibility, two key considerations that potential franchisees look for in a franchise business—more trust from potential franchisees can only spell further growth for any franchisor.

“It will also give you an edge over your competitors as your brand will now be associated with big brands like Jollibee, Max’s Fried Chicken, Goldilocks, The Generics Pharmacy, and Potato Corner, just to name a few, all of which have been developed by Francorp Philippines into strong franchise businesses,” says Sam Christopher Lim, vice president for marketing and strategy at Francorp Philippines.

Who can be awarded the Franchise Quality Seal?

 

The Franchise Quality Seal will be awarded to franchisors that have exhibited the highest standards of quality in terms of systems; products and services; franchisee support; financials; and training.

Any franchisor vying for the seal must have its systems updated regularly, and must have consistency in the quality and delivery of its products and services across all its stores. It must also exhibit profitable operations, both for its company-owned and franchised stores, while providing franchisees adequate training on a regular basis.

In terms of franchisee support, any franchisor vying for the seal must provide strong leadership and ensure compliance of operational standards and procedures within its franchise network, all the while building up the brand and promoting the image of the franchise.

Francorp Philippines will certify the franchise program developed, and will also award the Franchise Quality Seal to the franchisor. However, use of the seal will be valid for a limited time only as Francorp would also like to continuously ensure the quality of the franchise program as it faces market changes and changing consumer needs. The seal will be renewed once Francorp re-audits the franchise program as well as the franchisees of the brand.

 

Continuing a legacy of franchise excellence

Lastly, and more importantly, the Franchise Quality Seal will also be the visible mark that will serve as a testament to Francorp Philippines’ legacy as a developer of notable franchise brands.

After 20 years, and after developing more than 350 successful franchise concepts, Francorp Philippines has decided to launch the Franchise Quality Seal not just to promote franchise excellence in the country, but to also propel local franchise brands onto the global stage. With the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Economic Integration now in full swing, Francorp is proud to say that its homegrown clients can now take on the global franchise players with ease.

 

Learn How to Franchise your Business in our monthly seminar, or take a franchise test to see if your business is ready to franchise!

 

 

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GOLDILOCKS

goldilocks logo

When it comes to baked goodies, desserts, snack foods, and breads, Goldilocks is top of mind. From a two-story bakeshop in Pasong Tamo, Makati, run by two sisters – Milagros Leelin Yee and Clarita Leelin Go – way back in 1966, Goldilocks has now become the biggest Filipino-owned bakeshop chain in the world. 48 years after the first store opened, Goldilocks now has more than 420 stores both in the Philippines and overseas. Its strong national and international presence in the United States, Canada, and Thailand is the product of the hard work of the first and second generations of the Go and Yee families, represented by Chairman of the Board, Freddie Go Sr. Under his watch, and with family members in full support, Goldilocks continues to produce a wide range of high-quality products at par with the world’s best.

Francorp’s franchise consultants were there in the beginning to set the groundwork and foundation of the franchise system. From developing franchise operations manuals, discussing franchise business strategy and drafting franchise legal agreements. Mr. Go upholds the fact that to create a successful franchise business, “franchise relations should be a joint effort of both the franchisor and franchisee for them to achieve business profitability anchored on open communication, trust, honesty and continuous operational support.” “The franchisee, on the other hand”, he says, “must be personally committed to the business, be hands-on, take an active role in operations and provide leadership and inspiration to his personnel. He has to be on top of the situation because the amount of effort he puts in can affect his ROI.” With an excellent brand, backed up by premium quality, delicious products, and high customer satisfaction, Goldilocks continues to be a source of pride for Filipinos here and abroad and an example of how to franchise your business successfully.

To learn more about how to franchise your business both in the Philippines and internationally, attend a How to Franchise Your Business Seminar or take a free franchisability quiz.

 

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Advancing the Franchise Industry in ASEAN; Learnings from the Philippine Experience

Speech delivered at the Myanmar International Franchise and SME Expo

By Samie Lim, CFE

Chairman, Francorp

Chairman Emeritus, Philippine Franchise Association (PFA).

 

The Philippines is an archipelago and is strategically located as a gateway to the Asia-Pacific and the ASEAN region. In a similar way, we recognize the strategic importance of Myanmar as a gateway to China and the Indian sub-continent.

For a time, our country’s economy was only second to Japan in terms of growth. But after years of political instability and economic mismanagement, we became known as the ‘sick man of Asia’ – but not anymore.

Today, the Philippine economy has been growing at an unprecedented rate and is expected to grow between 6 to 8% in the coming decade and even beyond.

This bullishness on the Philippine economy stems from the fact that our economy seems resistant to global economic slowdowns. This is because our economy is mainly driven by local consumption which is supported by a huge population of migrant workers and a growing Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry.

That is why, when you go to the Philippines you will see that it is home to some of the biggest malls in the world and our malls are always full. The moment they open, you will already see a queue of people waiting to get in.

Local consumption has kept the Philippine economy on its feet even during difficult moments. And franchising was a part in making local consumption a vibrant segment in the Philippine economy.

Franchising is a powerful tool in economic development and nation-building because of its natural capacity to open thousands of businesses and to create millions of jobs. Seeing the power of franchising in developing our economy, I organized the franchise sector in our country in 1995 and became the first president of the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA).

At that time, there were only about 100 franchises in the Philippines and a majority of these were foreign brands. Today, there are 1,500 franchises in the Philippines and 65% of these are Philippine brands. Moreover, we have about 140,000 franchise outlets and the Philippine franchise sector generates more than a million jobs.

Let me clarify, however, that franchising came to the Philippines in 1965 but since that time until 1995, the growth of franchising was only 1 franchise per year. But since we started PFA, the growth has jumped to a phenomenal 65 franchises per year. How did this happen?

At this point, please allow me to share our strategy in growing the Philippine franchise industry. We are sharing this because we consider Myanmar a brother and we want you to make the most of franchising and make it work for your economy and your people.

This is, after all, the vision of the ASEAN Economic Community – to have an ASEAN where there is equitable economic growth for all member nations.

As I said earlier, franchising has the capacity to create businesses and jobs – it has the ability to create wealth – but only if you do things right. That is why, when we started the franchise industry in the Philippines, we made sure we had a master plan or a roadmap for success.

Through this roadmap, we were able to build Philippine franchising to what it is now – a leader in the ASEAN region. It took us a while to come to this position though. We first developed the food sector and it took us 5 years; followed by the retail and service sectors, which also took 5 years for each sector.

In other words, it took us 15 years to bring Philippine franchising to where it is now. We are willing to share our experience so that Myanmar can achieve the same in as little as 6 years.

The other thing we did was to organize ourselves. A vision – no matter how lofty – is always achievable if many are working to achieve it. We formed the Philippine Franchise Association in 1995 and this year is our 20th year. We started with only 13 members and now we have 250 members. But the most important thing is that our members contribute 70-80% of the total franchise sales in our country.

After organizing ourselves and creating a master plan, we also realized that we need to learn from others. And that is what we did. We cultivated relationships with the more advanced franchise industries and benchmarked with them.

We also organized an international conference and expo where we invited the world’s best franchise brands and the world’s most renowned franchise experts in order to learn from them. I am pleased to note that our franchise show – Franchise Asia Philippines – is now the biggest franchise show in Asia and gathers 40,000 visitors every year.

Moving on, we have taken leadership positions in the World Franchise Council (WFC) and the Asia Pacific Franchise Confederation (APFC). Our membership in these international bodies allowed us to learn global best practices in franchising. We are also willing to share these learnings with the intention of advancing the franchise industry in Myanmar and other emerging economies in ASEAN.

Recently, the Philippines has been appointed Secretariat of the APFC, which is a vote of confidence for the Philippines in advancing the various franchise sectors in Asia-Pacific. Other than this, we were also elected in the 3-member WFC task force, which has been assigned to draft programs that will drive the agenda of this international group of 44 members to bring franchising to the next level.

Another crucial thing we did was to professionalize the Philippine franchise industry by bringing the US-based Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) program to the country. CFE is a mini-MBA professional development program designed to raise the level of expertise of franchise practitioners. Today, the Philippines has the highest number of CFE graduates outside of the United States.

Lastly, a very important key in growing the Philippine franchise industry was introducing franchising to SMEs. We all know that SMEs are the backbone of every economy. There is a concern, however, that most SMEs – especially in less advanced economies – provide very little or even no value added services. Because of this SMEs remain SMEs forever.

Franchising, however, has the power to upgrade the capacities of SMEs – whether in branding, business methods, marketing, and others. Franchising has the capability to make an SME grow big.

Before PFA introduced franchising to SMEs, franchising was a business model reserved for multi-national and large corporations. This is the reason why franchising hardly made a dent in the economy. Things started to change when PFA encouraged SMEs to use franchising as a strategy to grow. Since then, growing big was no longer an impossible dream for SMEs.

I congratulate the organizers of this event for making the dream of growing big much closer for SMEs.

 

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Franchisor Concern: Will My Franchisee Compete With Me?

By Manuel V. Siggaoat, CFE

Managing Director, Francorp

As a consultant, I talk to several people a week who are thinking about expanding their business through franchising. For sure, there are many advantages if done correctly. After all, franchising has already helped many companies grow. However, one of the most common fears would-be franchisors have is whether or not they are just teaching franchisees the business know-how that will eventually be used to compete with them.

“What if I train my franchisee and he uses that knowledge to put up his own business and compete with me? Am I digging my own grave with franchising?”

This is a valid concern. To be honest, I have seen cases where this has happened. I have seen franchisees, disgruntled and disillusioned with their franchise investment, put up a competing business and go head-to-head with their franchisor.

However, this is something that is preventable. Here are some safety nets to discourage franchisees from turning against their franchisor.

 

1. Include a Non-Compete clause in the Franchise Agreement

A Franchise Agreement should include non-compete provisions within the contract. Basically, this provision states that the franchisee should not put up or invest in a business that competes with the franchisor’s business. The franchisee is bound from doing so (a) while the franchise agreement is in effect, and (b) some years after the franchise agreement has expired.

 

While including a non-compete provision will help, it is not enough. I will not go into details but there are several ways a franchisee can circumvent this provision. So in other words, a non-compete clause is a necessary but insufficient provision – it should be found in a franchise agreement, but by itself will not prevent franchisees from competing with a franchisor.

Besides, non-competition provisions are not in effect forever. They expire a few years after the end of the agreement.

 

2. Give Continuing Value

A better way to keep franchisees from competing with a franchisor is by providing continuing value. This means that aside from use of the name, the franchisee benefits from products and services that the franchisor provides during the course of the business.

 

2.1 Proprietary Products

Not teaching franchisees everything about the business is one way to keep them from using what they learn against you. The franchisee is dependent on the franchisor to supply proprietary products and services. Proprietary means those relating to the ownership of the brand or business. These are usually related to the franchisor’s intellectual property, like recipes and branded merchandise.

Instead of giving the entire recipe to the franchisee, franchisors may provide ready-to-use sauces, mixes, marinades, etc. to the franchisee. For retail concepts, franchisors provide branded merchandise, meaning those products that contain the brand’s logo.

Since these are proprietary items, they are available only from the franchisor and cannot be bought in the open market.

 

2.2 Killer Support Services

Franchisors are supposed to provide ongoing support to franchisees. For the purposes of this discussion, killer support services are those that are so outstanding and very critical to the franchisee’s business, yet very expensive or difficult to do on his own (in the computer industry, a killer app is a software so compelling it makes consumers want to get the hardware just to be able to use the software).

For example, a topnotch business intelligence software that provides data for making critical business decisions at the unit level can be a source of competitive advantage. Since it may be very expensive to install on his own, a franchisee would be discouraged from scaling this high barrier to entry.

A world-class marketing program is another example of a killer support service. Especially if the program is highly effective and brings business to all units on a consistent basis.

If franchisees rely on these killer support services for their business but find it difficult or very expensive to replicate on their own, then a franchisee will stay within the fold.

 

3. Keep Franchisees Happy

There are several legal and structural ways to keep franchisees in the system. But I’ve seen that the best way to keep franchisees from competing with their franchisors is by keeping them profitable and happy. If a franchisee is profitable and is happy with the relationship with the franchisor, he would not think about bolting the system and putting up a competing business. He may, in fact, even invest in an additional unit, become an area franchisee, or encourage other investors to become franchisees themselves.

Financial and strategic planning for the franchise business is therefore very crucial. The franchisee fees, royalties, markups, advertising contribution and other fees charged by the franchisor should be well within reason. Considering expected sales and relevant expenses, the profits and return on the franchisee’s investment should be attractive. The way a franchise is structured should result in a win-win arrangement, where both franchisor and franchisee benefit.

Sometimes, not all plans come to fruition, though. As the saying goes, the best-laid schemes of mice and men often go awry. The most well-thought-out business plan may not work because of unforeseen circumstances. What is important when that happens is how the franchisor will go the extra mile to help the franchisee cope with the crisis, or how fair his exit strategy for the franchisee is.

To summarize, a franchisee can be a franchisor’s worst enemy or best business partner. It depends on how the franchisor structures his franchise and how he manages the relationship with the franchisee.

 

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BENCH

Beginning in 1987 with a small store selling men’s t-shirts, Bench has grown to include a ladies’ line, underwear, fragrances, house wares, snacks, and a wide array of other lifestyle products, with the distinction of being present in virtually every retail space in the Philippines, and with a worldwide network of stores and outlets, reaching as far as the United States, the Middle East, and China. There are a total of 678 stores nationwide. Spreading out its wings has been continuous owning to the viable franchise partners they choose – people who really understand business and are knowledgeable about the same industry. “It was Francorp,” according to Mr. Chan, “who legitimized and gave credibility to the business concept of the Bench franchise. Francorp & its team of franchise consultants also helped professionalize the franchising industry.”

To boost Bench’s growth, it pioneered in the use of celebrity endorsers, television and giant billboards to create awareness for a fashion brand that offers premium quality products at affordable prices.

Ben Chan is the man behind the Bench brand, founder of what is now the Philippines’ largest clothing chain, under Suyen Corporation. His style is world class fashion and his work ethics impeccable, after learning the definition of “hardworking” from his Chinese forebears.

Because of his vision and aggressive but strategic moves, he has expanded the Philippine clothing chain into international markets. Bench is in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia; Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Xian, China; Kuwait; Bahrain; and Los Angeles, California.

To learn more about how to franchise your business both in the Philippines and internationally, attend a How to Franchise Your Business Seminar or take a free franchisability quiz.

 

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New Scenery in Franchise Retail

Local retailers are bracing themselves because with the dawn of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), our local consumers will eventually be exposed to heretofore unseen products, marketing schemes, promotional gimmickry, payment modes and many others that have already taken place in our sophisticated neighbours’ retail domains and which they may bring here.

Pretty soon, there may be consumer experiences like what the Financial Times describes as “pop-up stores to satisfy demands for immediacy and surprise.”  According to Spire Research, to create instant buzz using short-term leased space and cost-effective ways for new products, a theme is created for each floor display which is sponsored by a brand.  

Crowd funding is also getting to be popular among start-ups because people with good business ideas can get funding to launch their concepts. The crowd funding research firm, Masssolution, said 600 global crowd funding platforms raised US$5.1 billion in funds in 2013, up from the 308 made in 2012 which raised US $2.7 billion.

The Financial Times also cites the trends towards more regional trade hubs where there will be reshoring or production close to markets, as well as more intra-regional investment flows and trade that will shift economic power from West to East and North to South.  With its huge potential for economic power, the ASEAN will eventually be a testament to this.

Traditional retail models in the Philippines has not yet broken down because Filipinos still prefer to go to stores, especially in malls, to feel the thrill that go with canvassing, window shopping, and ultimately, buying. Although online marketing and consumption have gained popularity in the last decade, we still enjoy the mall ambience, perhaps make our senses enjoy the sights and sounds, and then buy what we need or don’t need. The middle class, with its burgeoning consumption power and young demographics, are at the forefront of the buying frenzy. Brands which have benefitted from this growing base are the following:

 

YOUR OWN TIME (Y.O.T.), ITS FRANCHISING TIME HAS COME

 

Those mechanical gadgets called wrist watches or pocket watches used to be just functional time pieces. Through centuries, these watches have evolved to become objects of desire, necessity, and fashion. There are now a variety of commercial watches, leisure and fashion watches, and sports watches. If these are not on everybody’s wrists, they also appear as pocket watches, in pendants, in the car dashboard, in one’s personal computer and lately, as an ubiquitous feature of smart phones.

Most of the important players in the global watch industry are in Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong, and Mainland China. New names have come in and are starting to create buzz such as the number one selling brand in Brazil.

Your Own Time (Y.O.T.) arrived in the Philippines in 2009, glowing with youthful, bright, and cheerful appeal. The young especially fall for its interchangeability, making it perfect for fashion and easy on the yuppies pockets.  One Y.O.T. kit contains one watch and 5 different cases, bracelets, and bezels. Imagine getting 125 watches for the price of one, to match any personality or style.

Y.O.T. is designed to be worn by both men and women, making it an accessory that can be shared. It is presently enjoyed by fashionistas in Latin America, Europe, North America, the Middle East, and in the Philippines, where 10 outlets have been opened.  It is now a franchise business beckoning entrepreneurs who want to join the global watch revolution. The Y.O.T. franchise is a turn-key package for a kiosk inclusive of franchise fee, construction of its signature kiosk, and initial inventory. With the enormous youth population, the market potential for Y.O.T. is as huge. Franchisees In Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao are invited to bank on this franchise and their time starts now.

 

POIS BELLY AND KIDS

 

The race is on between homegrown brands and international apparel brands who are now competing on a level playing field because of the entry of well-known clothing lines from all over the world into the Philippines.  Since 2012, global name brands have started sprouting in Metro Manila– the likes of Uniqlo, Cotton On, Forever 21, Miss Selfridge, Superdry, American Eagle Outfitters, and Sperry Top Sider are in high-end and mid-end malls.

The situation has challenged our local apparel outlets to level up and because Filipino consumers love design and quality which are both present in global and local brands, they are willing to purchase both. And with the growing consumer power and fashion-conscious outlook of the middle class, especially the young professionals, apparel will always enjoy capturing a sizeable chunk of the market.

According to the Euromonitor International July 2013 Report, though online retailing of clothes is getting to be popular, buyers still want to go to stores and experience fashion for themselves. Department stores or boutiques are still the destination if one wants clothes, sportswear, and footwear.

With a rosy outlook in the fashion industry, many Filipino brands are confident about their prospects. One of them is Pois Belly and Kidswhich housesthree fashion-niche brands – Pois, Belly Maternity, and Great Kids . Pois Belly and Kids is committed to building a world-class brand and continuously cater to the dressing needs of fashionable tykes and ‘tweens as well as expecting moms.

From a home business in 1999, selling a maternity line called Great Expectations to friends and family, it gradually expanded into girls’ wear. In 2004, in view of the demand for good quality and stylish fashion clothing for children, the Great Kids brand of apparel was conceived to cater to mini fashionistas aged 2-12 years old who look up to and want to emulate their stylish mothers. Great Kids was a hit for parents and their girls as the brand not only provides an extensive range of choices but also boasts of quality and comfort (clothes are mostly made of imported, high quality, breathable cotton and bottoms have adjustable waist systems).

Rowena Velasco, president, explains that in 2006, the brand Pois was conceptualized after much demand from loyal customers who have “graduated” from the Great Kids children’s sizing. Pois is a play on the English word “Poise”.  Without the “e”, the name evokes curiosity and reflects a playful and yet sophisticated touch – apt for ‘tweeners who are enjoying the in-between years of childhood to womanhood. Pois is a range of pretty and fun fashion that reflects the light-hearted mood of the ‘tweens and teens.

Now that Pois Belly and Kids is “poised” for greater growth through franchising, expect more stores that would reflect the stamp of unique beauty and craftsmanship that only a Filipino apparel boutique can boast about.

 

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