How Pinoy retail brands are competing with global brands

By Sam Christopher Lim, Senior Vice President, Francorp Philippines

Posted at Mar 15 2015 08:37 AM | Updated as of Mar 15 2015 04:37 PM

The facade of H&M's flagship store on Hamngatan in Stockholm, Sweden. Photo: H&M

MANILA – It is a well-known strategy in basketball that the best defense is a good offense. As dozens of global name brands sprout out in Metro Manila—the likes of Uniqlo, Cotton On, Forever 21, Miss Selfridge, Superdry, American Eagle Outfitters, H&M and Sperry Top Sider are taking prime spots high-end and mid-end malls.

While a lot of local apparel brands have started to defend their market, some have taken the opportunity to prepare to go on the offense and look to expand into international markets.

The entry of international brands have challenged our local apparel outlets to level up and because Filipino consumers love design and quality, which are both present in global and local brands, they are willing to purchase both. And with the growing consumer power and fashion-conscious outlook of the middle class, especially the young professionals, apparel will always enjoy capturing a sizable chunk of the market.

According to the Euromonitor International Report, though online retailing of clothes is getting to be popular, buyers still want to go to stores and experience fashion for themselves. Department stores or boutiques are still the destination if one wants clothes, sportswear, and footwear.

With a rosy outlook in the fashion industry, many Filipino brands are confident about their prospects. One of them is Pois Belly and Kids which houses three fashion-niche brands--Pois, Belly Maternity, and Great Kids. Pois Belly and Kids is committed to building a world-class brand and continuously cater to the dressing needs of fashionable tykes and ‘tweens as well as expecting moms.

From a home business in 1999, selling a maternity line called Great Expectations to friends and family, it gradually expanded into girls’ wear. In 2004, in view of the demand for good quality and stylish fashion clothing for children, the Great Kids brand of apparel was conceived to cater to mini fashionistas aged 2-12 years old who look up to and want to emulate their stylish mothers. Great Kids was a hit for parents and their girls as the brand not only provides an extensive range of choices but also boasts of quality and comfort (clothes are mostly made of imported, high quality, breathable cotton and bottoms have adjustable waist systems).

Rowena Velasco, president, explains that in 2006, the brand Pois was conceptualized after much demand from loyal customers who have “graduated” from the Great Kids children’s sizing. Pois is a play on the English word “Poise”. Without the “e”, the name evokes curiosity and reflects a playful and yet sophisticated touch - apt for ‘tweeners who are enjoying the in-between years of childhood to womanhood. Pois is a range of pretty and fun fashion that reflects the light-hearted mood of the ‘tweens and teens.

Now, with the help of Francorp, Pois Belly and Kids is “poised” for greater growth through franchising. With over 33 stores, a franchise program developed by international experts and world-class franchise operations manuals, Pois Belly and Kids plans to continue expanding locally & internationally through franchising, Pois Belly and Kids will continue delivering a stamp of unique beauty and craftsmanship that only a Filipino apparel boutique can boast about.


Franchise Talk is a content partnership of with Francorp Philippines. For more on franchising, contact Sam Christopher Lim at [email protected] or visit

About the author:
Sam Christopher Lim is the Senior Vice-President for marketing & strategy at Francorp Philippines. He has over a decade of global marketing experience from Bangkok, Shanghai and most recently London. He is a multi-awarded marketer who graduated with distinction from Oxford University and was awarded with the Young Market Masters award. He is also currently Chair for ASEAN integration for the Philippine Franchise Association.