Heritage

SSI Celebrates 30 Years: 7 Facts About the Country's Largest Luxury Retailer

The SSI Group holds over 100 brands we all know.
IMAGE COURTESY STORES SPECIALISTS INC; NICOLE LIMOS
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On June 5 at Shangri-La at the Fort, Stores Specialists Inc. kicked off its 30th year as the country's leading retail and lifestyle curator. To mark the occasion, we take a look back at some of its milestones.

Stores Specialists Inc. (SSI) was founded in 1988 as the retail arm of the Rustan's Group of Companies.

With the backing of the Rustan's Group, the second largest retailer in the Philippines, the SSI Group has steadily grown in its three decades and it continues to grow even more now in the digital age. But more on that later. When the SSI Group started, its first specialty store was United Colors of Benetton in 1988.

Under the SSI Group are multiple subsidiaries and sister companies that provide the Filipino shopper with premium goods. A few notable affiliates are Rustan Marketing Corp, Rustan Supercenters, Specialty Food Retailers, and Rustan Commercial Corp.

Hermès, Prada, Gucci, and Bottega Veneta are some of its notable luxury brands.


The SSI Group has acquired many of the luxury brands that we see in stores today, making it the leader in the local luxury market. The year 2003 marked the opening of the first premium mall in Manila when SSI launched stores for Yves Saint Laurent, Burberry, Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Prada, and Tod's opened at Greenbelt 4.

It introduced popular retailers such as Zara and Banana Republic to the Philippines.

We have SSI to thank for the arrival of favorite fast fashion brands Zara, Bershka, Stradivarius, and Aeropostale to the country. 

The SSI Group holds over 100 brands.

As of December 2017, the group's portfolio boasts of 638 specialty stores. The company has gone on to introduce premium malls such as Estancia in Pasig and Central Square at Bonifacio High Street, which it has filled with stores exclusive to the retail giant.

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The official SSI Group website is changing the way we shop.

While a few of its brands have introduced individual e-commerce sites, the SSI Group has embraced the future of digital and has launched the website ssilife.com.ph. The website is not only a virtual boutique catering to fashion, beauty, and home brands, it's also the online go-to for those who wish to embody the SSI lifestyle. It's a space for behind-the-scenes highlights from exclusive shows, beauty tutorial videos, and a lookbook of the latest collections. 


The SSI Group is introducing a mobile app this year.

In August, the group plans to launch the My SSI Life app, that will feature the retailer's latest promos and perks. Apart from curated content, the app will also allow its users to earn points that equate to benefits every time they shop. 

The group just celebrated 30 years in the Philippines.

To kick off the anniversary celebrations, the SSI Group invited members of the press and friends of the brand to a launch at Shangri-La at the Fort on June 5. The SSI Group chairwoman and CEO Zenaida Tantoco and president Anton Huang were there to welcome the guests and toast to their company's achievements.

As part of the festivities, the retailer will reward its customers with exclusive credits. Citibank cardholders will be able to collect credits and enjoy them through the "Spend Anywhere" campaign, where shoppers get P500 for every P10,000 that they spend at SSI Group stores using their Citibank cards from July to September. 

Shoppers can also expect the Big Fashion Sale on August 15 to 30 in Greenbelt and again on September 3 to 10 in Glorietta, as well as exclusive shopping events from July to September.


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SSI Group president Anton Huang gives a speech


Citibank Consumer Business Manager for the Philippines Manoj Varma, SSI Group chairwoman and CEO Zenaida Tantoco, SSI Group president Anton Huang, and SSI Group EVP Elizabeth Quiambao 

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