Mention Rustan’s and three things automatically come to mind: high-quality merchandise from the finest of local and imported brands; topnotch service that is the hallmark of Rustan’s customer care; and an incomparable, thoroughly delightful in-store experience.From its well-curated product selection and impeccable offerings to its meticulously organized racks and displays, a multisensory treat lies in every Rustan’s store for even the most discerning of shoppers. Indeed, the Philippines’ premier retail giant is all about living and loving the luminous, luxe lifestyle –and making it easily accessible to everyone else, too.
This year, Rustan’s, the brand that is well-loved by fashion aficionados and fans of the finer things, looks back on a history marked by magnificent milestones as it celebrates its 65thanniversary.
A Gem of an Idea
It all began in the early 1950s, when husband and wife, Bienvenido Tantoco, Sr. and Gliceria Rustia Tantoco envisioned a mecca for all things luxurious. After all, Gliceria firmly believed that the “tasteful Filipina had every right to be immaculately dressed by only the finest and most coveted names in style.” The couple brought back beautiful and unique trinkets from their trips abroad and displayed them in their living room for their guests to look, feel and marvel at. This was the point of origin; the day of small beginnings of the retail hub that would, decades later, make a name for itself as the most illustrious of the luxury line. Rustan’s opened shop in 1952, a humble space on San Marcelino street, in the middle of old Manila.
The rest, as they so often say, is history – the evolution of a multi-faceted gem that radiates the best and brightest of the retail realm.
Jewels in the Crown
The shop along San Marcelino soon outgrew its abode, branching out across the metro and beyond to integrate itself deep within the Filipino lifestyle. Not only did the Rustan’s name become synonymous with the most resplendent brands in the luxury market, it also came to symbolize an all-encompassing lifestyle of leisure.
With the birth of Rustan’s Marketing Corporation in 1964, an array of global brands made their debut on Philippine shores. Aside from fashion, everything from fragrances and cosmetics to skincare, toiletries, and premium packaged food items found their way into hearts and homes across the country.
In what could best be described as the next logical business move, Rustan’s opened its chain of groceries, under the helm of Rustan’s Supermarket, in 1970.Rustan’s Superstore Cubao was the first “mall” in the country – a structure that housed the department store and supermarket all in one shopping destination; making it an incredible one-stop shop where one can find everything a family needs back in 1973.
To date, the department store has five branches, each one affording the same level of stellar service and quintessential quality, twenty-six Rustan’s supermarket locations, and more than 2,000 brands licensed amongst the whole group.
The Rustia-Tantoco family, however, did not stop there. They continued to add jewels to their glinting crown, in the form of Store Specialists, Inc., the largest operator of high-end specialty stores in the country; Royal Duty Free, the number one duty free store in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone; RMSI, a co-venture with UK brand, Marks & Spencer; famed coffee chain, Starbucks; Rustan’s Supercenters, Inc., pioneer of the hypermarket format in the country and progenitor of the Shopwise chain of stores; and Sta. Elena Golf and Country Estate, the group’s venture into the field of leisure business.
A Prized Treasure
Surely, the Rustan’s legacy will endure, as the extraordinary group of companies continues to endear itself to the Filipinos with its flair for the finest. The brand will continue to evolve, whilst staying true to its greatest treasure: the people it serves. As Gliceria R. Tantocoonce put it, “Rustan’s has always geared every aspect of its operations to shoppers’ needs and expectations. This basic retailing philosophy permeates every phase of corporate decision-making and puts Rustan’s in a unique position to set trends, especially in fashion retailing.”
With an illustrious past and a gleaming present, it is with eager anticipation that Rustan’s moves ever forward into a vibrant sapphire-hued future, continuously bringing world-class luxury to the Filipinos.