MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – The SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City is now the biggest mall in the Philippines with the opening of the 101,000-square meter Building D on Tuesday.
The new wing, dubbed the Mega Fashion Hall, adds 125 new retail stores, about 90 percent of which are global brands.
Among these global brands are Japan’s Uniqlo, Spain’s Zara, Denmark's Vero Moda, London's Savile Row and Burton, French shoe brand Nao de Brasil, and US brands Philosophy and Aeropostale.
Aside from these brands, the Mega Fashion Hall will also house Swedish retailer H&M, which is set to open in the middle of the year.
The 3-storey H&M flagship store has a floor area of 3,000 square meters, making it the biggest retail store in the country.
SM Prime Holdings, Inc. is also set to open branches of H&M at SM North EDSA’s The Block, SM Mall of Asia and SM Makati early next year.
Global luxury brands are entering the Philippine market amid rising affluence and robust consumer spending in an economy that has been growing over 7 percent.
Steven Tan, SM Supermalls Premier Division vice president for operations, has yet to confirm if football superstar and H&M endorser David Beckham will grace the opening of the flagship store in Megamall.
Megamall’s new wing also offers dining options, including Filipino restaurant Abe, dimsum place Tim Ho Wan, Saint Marc’s Café of Tokyo, gyoza specialist Osaka Ohsho and Viking’s Buffet.
The mall’s new wing also features an IMAX Theater, a Director’s Club theater, a bowling center, and an Olympic- sized ice skating rink.
SM Prime, the holding company of the SM Group in the property business, currently has 48 malls in the Philippines and five in China.
SM Prime President Hans Sy, meanwhile, said they are planning to invest P1.8 billion to expand the Mall of Asia in Pasay City to about 600,000 square meters. The target date of completion is on 2016.
SM is also expanding its malls in Bacolod, Lipa and Iloilo.
Sy said the Bacolod mall expansion is expected to be completed before the year ends.
"We don't wait for the economy to grow before we expand. We're looking positively at the economy. As we always say, we are confident that it is sustainable," Sy said during the launch.
Sy also said its mall revenues should rise by around 14 percent in 2014, half of which is boosted by the expansion of malls.
"Expansion is a very good key for increases of revenues because these are matured malls," Sy said.
SM budgeted around P10 billion to expand Megamall, MOA, North EDSA and the three provincial malls. -- With a report from Lois Calderon, ANC