Outlet stores ‘to boost tourism’

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

TOURISM SHOPPING. Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz C. Radaza says the presence of The Outlets in MEZ 2 will be beneficial to the city’s tourism program as the new shopping center is seen to add to the city’s lineup of tourist destinations. With Radaza inside the Nike Factory Store during the opening is AboitizLand president and CEO Andoni Aboitiz. (Allan Cuizon)

ABOITIZLAND INC. opened on Saturday The Outlets at Pueblo Verde, which the company said is the first outlet store in Visayas and Mindanao.

Outlet stores are where manufacturers sell their products directly to consumers and at big discounts.

The Outlets is built on a one-hectare lot inside the Mactan Economic Zone 2 in Barangay Basak, Lapu-Lapu City. MEZ 2 is developed and operated by AboitizLand in partnership with Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza).

Rafael de Mesa, AboitizLand associate vice president for project development, said eight stores of global brands like Nike, Converse, Adidas, Levi’s and Dockers are already open with 14 more targeted to open by the first quarter of next year.

De Mesa said they are also hoping to attract local brands in The Outlets with the planned expansion into and adjacent one-hectare area at the end of 2014 to early 2015.

He said items sold at The Outlets are at a discount ranging from 20 percent to 70 percent the whole year-round.

The Outlets is a stand-alone mall within Pueblo Verde which is also a home to various restaurants, financial institutions, offices and a supermarket.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz C. Radaza said the presence of The Outlets in MEZ 2 will be beneficial to the city’s tourism program as the new shopping center is seen to add to the city’s lineup of tourist destinations, which already include beaches and hotels.

She said residents in neighboring towns and local tourists are also expected to flock to The Outlets.

De Mesa said he expects to see a lot of tourism shopping in the area.

When asked if they will open a similar shop in Cebu City, de Mesa said this is unlikely because the discounts will cannibalize the sales of other stores.

AboitizLand invested about P50 million for the project, said de Mesa.

AboitizLand Inc commercial business unit manager Clifford Academia said the project shows that the retail industry in Cebu is bullish.

“It only shows that Cebu is having a retail industry phenomenon,” Academia said. He said the sectory is primarily driven by growth in the business process outsourcing industry, tourism sector and the increase in OFW remittances.

He said Cebu’s malls, where branches of some global brands are also located, have reported good performance.

De Mesa said AboitizLand is planning to open more commercial developments in the coming years.

He said the company will already start planning three commercial developments next year but the launching of the project has yet to be decided.

MEZ 2 is an industrial site which houses around 50 multinational companies from the light to medium industries sector. Locators are primarily in the business of electronics, automotive supplies and home furnishing.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 16, 2013.


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