When it comes to shopping for wholesale and retail products, some people prefer going to Bangkok, Hong Kong or Beijing. But is there really a need to go abroad to shop for good deals?
Right here in the Philippines is the popular go-to place of many shoppers, retailers and wholesellers. Divisoria with its main crowd-drawer—the Tutuban Malls. Tutuban, located at the southern part of Recto Avenue, offers the best buys on clothes, shoes, bags and accessories. One can haggle with sellers and get items at low cost within the two-cluster buildings, Prime Block and the Center Mall of Tutuban.What more, bargain-hunters are sure to get loads of good deals at even when on a limited budget.
Tutuban, currently handled by Philippine Orion Properties, Inc. (POPI) and First Lepanto Corporation’s merger company GuocoHoldings (Phil.), Inc. (GHPI) aims for a wider market and aims to expand Tutuban's shopping block before it renews its 25 year old lease with the Philippine National Railways (PNR) in 2014.
"Tutuban has been the country's center of commerce since the 1800's and is continuing to be so. What we envision for Tutuban is to be a hub of employees, students, for bargain hunters and missionary shopping," says Ernie Hilario, Business Development Head of POPI.
Aside from the usual wholesale and retail commercial centers, Tutuban will also push for a hotel component as to provide lodging for local and foreign bargain hunters. Apart from accommodating tourists, the hotel will also be intended for local residents. Tutuban Mall currently has two parking lots and will be expanding for motorists and commuters though a transportation terminal.
"We have the train operations of the PNR, which no other mall has," says Hilario proudly. "We also plant to put a terminal for buses, vans, jeepneys. (Whatmore) there are also plans of the LRT recto extending towards Tutuban."
Tutuban also plans boost its automotive and food service industry. According to Hilario, these new facilities will be modeled on existing and successful establishments.
"We will be having the autocity--– similar to the motor centers of Alabang and Banawe. It will have a motor depot for motorcycles, car parts and accessories,” Hilario adds.
"We also plan to add restaurant strip mall, similar to Bonifacio High Street. This will complement the market of the auto city," Hilario added. Aside from the restos, a fresh produce market is also in the works to service many of the nearby residences and Chinese.
Also, Tutuban gets a facelift as it converts its current night market into a 24/7 mall. This would be unlike many malls in the country which close at night.
“We want to launch Tutuban as the only 24/7 mall here in the Philippines,” says Hilario. "The project is set to start within the year if not next year.