|Under Armour store at the SM Megamall|
The high-profile entries of international fashion brands recently included Under Armour (UA), an American brand of performance footwear, apparel and accessories. The Baltimore-based brand, however, opened a store quietly several months ago at the Bonifacio High Street of the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.
With the second store, the brand is ready to make its presence felt and advance in the country. The opening of the store at the SM Megamall, secured by local retailer GrupoAthletica, featured many prominent athletes, celebrities and models doing challenges for mall-goers. In the United States, UA has befitted from exposure by celebrities and popular athletes wearing its products. Here, the brand is endorsed by former Ateneo de Manila University volleyball star Gretchen Ho and captain of the women national team Natasha Alquiros, among others.
The 140-suare meter SM Megamall store foments high energy and grittiness, sporting metallic and cement look.
“Opening in Megamall is a natural step for the brand’s expansion in the Philippines,” said Carlos Maza, senior director for New Markets of UA. “The response to our brand from athletes in the Philippines has been tremendous, and we look forward to increase our presence throughout the country.”
“The Under Armour Megamall store is the result of a well-planned expansion strategy,” said Adrian Chai, chief marketing officer of Triple Pte. Ltd. “It’s in a high-traffic centrally located area making the brand even more accessible.”
Singapore-based Triple Pte. Ltd. is a sports and lifestyle retailer that brought UA to the country and it holds the exclusive distribution rights for the UA in Southeast Asia. Triple has launched the first two Southeast Asian UA retail outlets in Singapore and Philippines in May 2014. An omni-channel e-commerce is serving out of Singapore across the Southeast Asian region in since late 2014.
Angelica Suiza, cofounder of Triple, said that they will open a store at the UP Town Center in Quezon City and have plans of opening five more in Metro Manila and two outside the country’s capital. The country is paving a way to open in other countries in the region, and stores in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Bangkok, Thailand, are in the planning.
The Philippines “is a key market to us; that’s why we launched Under Armour in Singapore and the Philippines at the same time,” Maza emphasized.
“Being a new player, it is really resonating very well in the Philippines,” he said, adding that it is because of the “young population, fast sporting goods market, great appetite for American brands and most importantly a fast growing number of athletes.”
Maza further said: “We come with a very unique point of view where we want to make athletes better, and we really want to empower Filipinos at all levels to really get out there, doing sports, going out for a walk, playing ball with your buddies, going to a yoga session, no matter what it is.”
Chai said more importantly, the edge of UA products is the different technologies of the different products. The full range will be made available in the Philippines stores.
The latest items in the store include the HeatGear Sonic, Heatgear Flyweight, Coldblack, Coldgear, UA Storm, UA Tech and the popular Compression range.
Among the footwear, the Under Armour Speedform Apollo is highlighted. Using Micro G technology, it boasts of the world’s first seamless heel cup, manufactured in a bra factory and using the material innovation of a bra. Weighing 182 grams, the shoe is said to provide a precision fit experience for runners.
On the other hand, the new Compression apparels have a squeeze that “supports your muscles so they vibrate less when you’re working.” It is said to lessen fatigue.
Among the technical apparel available is HeatGear ArmourVent, a new training apparel technology platform available in both men’s wear and women’s wear. The UA Studio and UA StudioLux lines are designed for athletic females such as brand ambassador and American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland.
These and more are in the UA stores, which will increase in the next few years. While North America and Japan remain their biggest markets, UA will be opening about 400 more stores all over the world in the next six years.
Under Armour stores in the Philippines are at 1F, 12 to13, Bonifacio High Street, Taguig City, open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. with telephone number 823-7289; and at Building A, upper ground level, SM Megamall, Dona Julia Vargas Avenue, Wack-Wack, Mandaluyong City, open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with telephone number 654-5466.
|New store promises to carry complete range|