65 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT RUSTAN’S
The premier department store brought the world’s best to our shores. It’s not just about shopping, it’s about entrepeneurial daring, oldfashioned customer care and building a heritage.
Fun facts you need to know about the luxury retailer as it celebrates its sapphire year.
Every great capital has a grand store or two. Paris: Le Bon Marché, which touts itself as the world’s first department store; and the tourist mecca Galeries Lafayette. London: Selfridges, which merited a television series on the founder’s colorful life and the beginnings of the great store; and another traveler magnet, Harrods. New York: the big Bs Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s and Barneys. There may be arguments whether Manila counts as a great capital, but we certainly have a store that has the genteel atmosphere and legendary customer service to rival its international counterparts.
Rustan’s started as a gift shop in the home of recognized retail royals Ambassador Bienvenido Tantoco and the late Gliceria Rustia-tantoco, with Glecy in charge of choosing merchandise and Benny doing finance. From that humble beginning, the little gift shop became a department store in San Marcelino, Manila, that moved to what is now our CBD, Ayala Avenue in Makati City, and is now a veritable empire that includes Rustan’s Supermarkets, Stores Specialists Inc., Rustan’s Coffee (the local partner of Starbucks), Sta. Elena Golf and Country Estate and Adora. Now on its 65th year, Rustan’s still defines upscale shopping, and to mark this milestone, we sat down with the eldest grandson of the Rustan’s pioneers, Donnie Tantoco, to learn more about the lore and history of this institution. He is now the president of the Rustan’s Commercial Corporation and his infectious passion and palpable admiration for his grandparents, parents and aunts are clear markers that the next 65 years of Rustan’s will be just as illustrious and groundbreaking as the past.