CHRISTMAS  COMES  EARLY  FOR  RUSTAN'S

MANILA, OCTOBER 15, 2008 (STAR) By Doreen Yu - It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – at least for luxury retailer Rustan’s, which not only unveiled its Christmas look yesterday but also reported a significant increase in sales for the last two months, despite the global financial turmoil that saw the collapse of several major financial institutions and huge losses in stock markets across the globe.

Anton Huang, grandson of Rustan’s founder the late Gliceria Rustia-Tantoco, admitted that the sales spike came as a surprise given the economic climate, but added the grim outlook probably put a damper on overseas shopping for many of their clients.

“Instead of traveling and shopping abroad, people may be staying home and doing their shopping here,” Huang told The STAR.

Huang’s mother, Zenaida “Nedy” Tantoco who took over the helm of the 56-year-old department store in July, met with select media yesterday at the flagship store in Makati to unveil their Christmas theme, “Come home to Rustan’s this Christmas.”

Announcing an upgrade of merchandise – including many lines sourced locally – Tantoco said they are returning to the Rustan’s tradition of starting Christmas in mid-October with the opening of the Christmas Shop and the rollout of Yuletide merchandise in all departments within the chain’s six branches, although the window displays will only be unveiled in November, after Halloween.

Despite projections of an 11-percent growth in sales, Tantoco admitted that plans for major renovations of their stores are being re-studied in the light of gloomy economic forecasts for the coming year, when the effects of the current financial meltdown are generally expected to be felt more fully.

The Tantoco family was ranked No. 37 in the Forbes Asia 2008 Philippines Rich List, with a net worth of $45 million.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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