Islander sandal brand to continue

From: Islander's Facebook
From: Islander's Facebook

THE company that produces a popular Filipino footwear brand has clarified that it is not permanently shutting down its operations, dispelling confusion among social media users about a statement from one of its factory outlets in Cebu.

Islander Philippines issued a statement on its official Facebook page on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2023, after its factory outlet, situated at the border of Barangay Tungkod in Minglanilla town and Barangay Inayagan in Naga City, made a closure announcement on Tuesday, Dec. 26 through social media.

The “Islander Factory Outlet” Facebook page posted that it is discontinuing its operations, stating it will officially close on Jan. 1, 2024. A factory outlet, also known as an outlet store or factory store, is a retail store owned and operated by a manufacturer, where it sells its merchandise directly to the public at discounted prices.

The store informed its customers that they could purchase its products at reduced prices during the “final sale,” expressing gratitude to those “who worked, patronized, shared, enjoyed, laughed, cried, persevered, and believed in the brand.” It did not state the reason behind its impending closure.

Islander Philippines is known for its Islander Classic slippers that have thick rubber soles. The store’s post garnered reactions from people who shared that Islander Classic was their favorite pair of slippers in their childhood years due to the footwear’s durability.

Based on the factory outlet’s website, it began operating in southern Cebu in 1996 making not only Islander footwear but also for other brands such as Spartan, Sugbu and the country’s first-scented flip flops, Lookeeya.

Miguel Joseph Eranes, a 20-year-old resident of Barangay Ermita, told SunStar Cebu on Thursday, Dec. 28, that he was saddened upon reading the post, thinking the entire brand would pull out from the market.

“It hurts a little since I grew up using the brand because it is the slippers mothers would usually buy,” he said.

Meanwhile, shoemaker Jojo Bragais, owner of the Filipino footwear brand “Bragais,” commented on the factory outlet’s post expressing his sorrow, saying, “Sad. I’m a fan!” Bragais sponsored the footwear of the beauty queens who competed in the most recent Miss Universe pageant in El Salvador last November.

Amid the social media buzz created by store’s post, the Islander Philippines clarified on its official Facebook page that the whole company is not shutting down but only its outlet store in southern Cebu.

The company reassured its customers in the post that “the recent circulating post is related to a specific outlet only and does not impact the overall Islander brand.”

They added that customers can continue to purchase their products through online shopping platforms. The slippers are also available in department stores nationwide.

SunStar Cebu has sent emails and messages to Facebook since Wednesday for both the Islander Philippines brand and the Islander Factory Outlet manufacturer to determine the fate of workers affected by the store’s closure. However, as of press time, no responses have been received.

The Department of Labor and Employment in Central Visayas has not yet responded to the same query.


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