Why the Tan­to­cos stay on top of luxe re­tail

Rus­tan’s movers tell their own sto­ries —some amus­ing — on the store that pi­o­neered in many firsts.

The Philippine Star - - FRONT PAGE - MIL­LeT M. MANANQUIL

Let's start from the be­gin­ning. We know that the lux­ury re­tail gi­ant Rus­tan's was founded by Bien­venido Tan­toco and Glice­ria Rus­tia-Tan­toco 65 years ago in a sim­ple space on San Marcelino street in old Manila.

How did the store get its name? Look­ing at their names, the an­swer is ob­vi­ous. But here's the story as told by the co-founder him­self, Lolo Benny, now 96,to his grand­son Don­nie Tan­toco, pres­i­dent of Rus­tan’s, dur­ing one of their reg­u­lar con­ver­sa­tions:

DON­NIE TAN­TOCO: Who helped you come up with the brand name Rus­tan’s?

LOLO BENNY: It was Jessie Bello. He was the head of mar­ket­ing for the Rufino Group of Com­pa­nies. We worked to­gether so I asked for his help.

DON­NIE: Wow, sounds like it did not cost you any­thing?

LOLO BENNY: We thought it was a good idea to merge our names. Since I am the man, Jessie Bello felt that my fam­ily name should come first and your Lola Glecy’s sec­ond. He made a logo. DON­NIE: Re­ally? So what hap­pened? LOLO BENNY: Tan­rus did not look and sound right so I asked him to make it ba­lik­tad. DON­NIE: And then? LOLO BENNY: He used the same script and put the first three let­ters of your Lola’s name first, and mine last. It be­came Rus­tan. It was per­fect!

Jessie asked me: Are you sure you want to put your wife’s name first?

I looked at the logo and kept re­peat­ing and com­par-

Fer­nando Zo­bel, Ayala Corp. pres­i­dent, with Nikki Huang and Kit Zo­bel

Nedy Tan­toco, Rus­tan’s chair­man and CEO, be­side the por­trait of her mom, Rus­tan's founder Glecy Rus­tia-Tan­toco

Am­bas­sador Benny Tan­toco is greeted by Fer­nando Zo­bel

Criselda Lon­tok, Rus­tan's de­signer, with Mario Katig­bak, Her­mes and Bul­gari Philip­pines man­ager

Stores Spe­cial­ists Inc. pres­i­dent An­ton Huang and Nina Huang

Rus­tan's ad­min­is­tra­tive man­ager Paolo Tan­toco and Dina Ar­royo-Tan­toco, mar­ket­ing comm man­ager

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