Manila, Philippines – Malaysian retail specialist Valiram Group is currently looking at expanding its operations in the Philippines by developing airport outlets for duty-free retail tourism.

Meeting with Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in Singapore, Valiram Group expressed their interest in expanding in the next five years with the Philippines on their list.

In this plan, Valiram’s development priorities include having duty-free access at the airports, with the company building more airport walk-through stores personalised to provide customers with a pleasant shopping experience.

Valiram aims to elevate customer experience in the Philippines, especially by giving them more space at the nation’s gateways, removing the stress and hassles of security checks.This initiative is also in line with Valiram’s interest to grow the local presence with their affiliated international brands through these Philippine outlets. 

Expressing the group’s interest, a Valiram official said, “We are looking to bring the success that we have in Southeast Asia, outside the Philippines, and into the Philippines. You know, we now have a net worth of over 500 stores. And some brands are not yet represented in the Philippines and so we’ve been working hard and with everyone’s support and guidance, we’re looking forward to expanding very quickly.”

The President acknowledged that retail business is a significant part of today’s economy and in the case of Valiram, of the tourism industry.

“It’s an important sector of the economy. It’s what’s driving the economy now, it’s consumer spending. I always say this: not all Filipinos are Ilocanos. Ilocanos don’t spend,” Marcos said jokingly.

Meanwhile, House of Representatives Speaker Martin Romualdez expressed his support for the President’s thrust to encourage more investors to come to the Philippines, noting that Congress is focusing on crafting legislation or laws that govern the treatment and the appreciation of foreign investments into the country.

In the President’s business meetings with Dyson Group and the Valiram Group, Romualdez mentioned that Marcos welcomes and supports all of these initiatives.

Hong Kong — China Duty Free International, one of the established luxury goods operators in China, has commissioned creative company Superunion to create a visual digital experience for its new flagship opening in Macau. Dubbed ‘The Surreal Island’, the project is made up of large-scale digital displays set within the retail space at the Grand Lisboa Palace, Macau.

Superunion, a company under the WPP umbrella, will create content for digital screens that include ceiling displays and wall panels to be displayed in the Macau flagship store. The company worked in collaboration with Peru-based surrealist illustrator, Paolo Torres. Together, they created a poetic world inhabited by characters and scenes, designed through a whimsical combination of retail products and magical creatures.

Different scenes unfold from the art project; a tiger tote stalks the rainforest and a Venus statue built of lipstick sits at the centre of a lake whilst porcelain whales dance in the sky. Each of these narratives was illustrated and brought to life in motion, designed to seamlessly exist alongside the store’s daily life. The scenes are highly intricate, with day and night cycles that reveal new discoveries through every view.

Louisa Luk, senior designer of Superunion, said that the project has been a truly collaborative effort that spanned across time zones and continents, involving creatives both internally and externally from Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Italy, London and Peru.

“The China Duty Free team gave us an invaluable opportunity to flex our skills beyond branding into experience design – culminating in a fine blend of creative tech, illustration, art direction and cinematography. This immersive and dreamlike space speaks to the vibrancy of experiences and culture in Macau, setting up the flagship as a true destination for luxury shopping,” Luk said.

Meanwhile, Miuling Lau, senior marketing manager of China Duty Free International, commented, “Macau is known for its larger-than-life attitude to experiences, having established its identity as a casino city in the last 15 years. Our hope is that we are able to transport our guests to another world as soon as they step into our store and that this project marks the beginning of an otherwise expansive brand world for Surreal Island, where we can break out of the original retail context into other platforms and experiences.”