Fashion brand Penshoppe believes the AEC will open the door to Asia-wide expansion.
Penshoppe is one of five six brands owned by Filipino retail business Golden ABC – the others are Oxygen, ForMe, Memo, Regatta and Tyler.
Penshoppe opened its first store in Indonesia in 2012 in partnership with a local franchisee and now has 20 there, with more to come. Cambodia followed more recently.
Golden ABC chief Bernie Liu says his company is pursuing “two to three more” Asean territories in 2015.
Liu says the integration of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam into the new Asean Economic Community from next year will bring huge opportunities.
“We have to realise that we are now competing with regional players and have to think global and act local in terms of retaining our value proposition,” Liu said in an interview.
He says companies in the Philippines should not fear increased competition from other companies in the AEC, rather embrace the opportunities of new markets opening up.
“We shouldn’t fear the integration but instead welcome the challenge and level up our game. With the Asean, no matter how diverse we are, we have to be united and become stronger as one region.”
AEC, he said, is the Philippines’ chance to turn a challenge into an opportunity for growth, expansion and economic development.
Golden ABC now has 600 stores in Asia and the Middle East.
‘‘It is not only now that we are preparing for the 2015 AEC integration, but it has been decades of continuous upgrades and professionalising every facet of the business that put the company in a position of strength,” Liu says.