A True Purveyor of Luxury
As it celebrates its 30th anniversary, retail giant Stores Specialists Inc moves into the future with an even stronger commitment to bringing the best of luxury lifestyle to the Filipino consumer
It was in 1988 that the Tantoco family set up Stores Specialists, Inc (SSI), with the goal of bringing the best of high-end retail to the Philippines by way of its well-curated selection of luxury brands. The company introduced the buying public to the concept of a specialty store, opening its first few (Lacoste and Marks & Spencer) in 1990. Salvatore Ferragamo, Charriol, Armani Exchange, Bally, and many more—SSI succeeded in helping these names establish a physical presence in the Philippines, bringing them closer to our doorsteps. And despite having been at it for 30 years now, the company’s passion has not waned. It continues to move forward, reaching an even broader market by acquiring even more brands under its umbrella, and diversifying into the food business with establishments such as TWG, SaladStop!, and the much-awaited Shake Shack. It has also made its foray into mall development, having put up Central Square in the heart of Bonifacio Global City. Truly, SSI has become a tastemaker of luxury lifestyle in every sense of the term.
COMMEMORATING THREE SUCCESSFUL DECADES
In celebration of its 30th anniversary, SSI launched The Curated Life campaign early last year, hoping to motivate its consumers to pursue a life well-lived. One of the initiatives under this campaign is #PassionForward, which is anchored on SSI’s indomitable passion to bring
SSI has gone above and beyond retail, not just elevating its status to tastemaker, but one that is inspiring and aspirational
its consumers nothing but the best. The company came up with a roster of 30 worthy role models from various industries who echo this passion: those who champion excellence; who continue to exceed expectations; who inspire today’s generation to follow in their footsteps. Business magnates, top designers, art advocates, culinary greats, lifestyle doyennes, and social enterprise founders made it to this list. The launch of this initiative was marked with a photo exhibition featuring these personalities, with portraits snapped by photographers Mark Nicdao, Kai Huang, Cyrus Panganiban, Kyla Olives, and Paul Soriano. Collectively, SSI is donating a substantial amount to the chosen charity of each individual as its way of giving back.
SSI is also set on strengthening its e-commerce arm through its relaunched website (ssilife.com.ph), which serves not just as its online retail channel, but a lifestyle hub with helpful tips for fashion, beauty, and home. Shopping is made easier through the My SSI Life app, which lets consumers earn rewards points and gain access to promos and other perks. In addition, the company partnered up with Citibank for its Spend Anywhere campaign, which gave cardholders Php500 worth of shopping credits (valid for use at any of SSI’s stores) for every Php10,000 spent from July to September. On top of this, deferred payments
schemes for up to 24 months are permitted until May this year.
INTO THE FUTURE Never one to rest on its laurels, SSI is hurtling into the future—one that its consumers are very much a part of. Business diversification and a stronger digital presence aside, the company is also dedicated to ensuring that the message it sends out is one that resonates well with a new generation. In October 2018, SSI was certified by the Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (an organisation that issues the global business certification standard for gender equality), establishing the company as a gender-sensitive work environment. This shows that SSI has gone above and beyond retail, not just elevating its status to tastemaker, but one that is inspiring and aspirational, showing consumers that they too can choose to live a life that is well-curated. Lifestyle journalist AA Patawaran, who asked to pen a piece about passion, masterfully zeroes in on the essence of SSI’s core message. In the essay “The Curated Life,” he wrote: “Each of the carefully selected global brands in its ever-growing roster, which now collectively covers 129,000 square meters of prime retail space in key areas around the Philippines, is its own success story. That alone helps SSI fulfill its mission to help us curate life and live it well, wisely, and meaningfully. The message is clear—if it’s possible out there, why can’t it be possible for us?—especially when all that is between us and the representation of the life we aspire for is clear, spotless shop window glass.”
fashion forward SSI has brought some of the world’s most loved luxury brands to the Philippines
the many faces of luxe (Counterclockwise from top right) Ernest Cu for #PassionForward; Angelo and Mariglo Laririt for #PassionForward; Model wearing a suit from ZARA, top from Cortefiel, and shoes from Jimmy Choo, all SSI brands; Sofia Elizalde for #PassionForward; Sneakers from Bally with crates and plants from Pottery Barn; (inset) Pandora bag from Givenchy
30 years strong (Clockwise from top left) Clothes from Ermenegildo Zegna with accents from Pottery Barn and West Elm; Moccasins from Tod’s with items from Pottery Barn; Trickie Lopa, Dindin Araneta, and Lisa Periquet for #PassionForward; Royal Pineda and Budji Layug for #PassionForward; Ermenegildo Zegna ties with West Elm and Pottery Barn items; Paloma Urquijo Zobel for #PassionForward; (inset) Items from Polo Ralph Lauren and Pottery Barn