Special Feature

Opening Day Hits: The Most Successful Store Openings in the City

Recently, US fastfood chain In-N-Out made a little tease on its presence in the country as for one day, they set up an In-N-Out “joint” inside one of the restaurants in Greenbelt 1 at Makati’s Ayala Center complex. Judging from the reception it has gotten with that one-day opening, it seems a given that if and when In-N-Out finally makes its presence here a formality, its first day would be a very successful one.

This brings to mind some of the establishments here who made quite impact on the first day of their operations in the country. Today, we look back at some of those opening day success stories of some of the establishments here and how they’ve shaped the face of commerce in the city, and the country as a whole.

Krispy Kreme, November 2006

As far as I can recall, one of the first stores to receive such a massive attention on its opening was the US-based doughnut chain Krispy Kreme. It was an attention that has been brewing for a long while now as people were longing for the day they can finally have a fix of those Krispy Kreme doughnuts at home, a phenomenon brought about by doughnut craze that has hit the country during the mid-2000s. Thus, you can imagine the excitement and the glee when it was announced that Krispy Kreme would finally be in our shores.

Krispy Kreme opening at Bonifacio High Street (courtesy of Krispy Kreme)

Krispy Kreme opened its first Philippine branch in Bonifacio High Street on November 30, 2006. But even before the official opening, there was already a queue forming up of avid Krispy Kreme lovers who wanted to be one of its first customers.

Forever 21, July 2010

As in the case of Krispy Kreme, the coming of US clothing chain Forever 21 was something that was highly anticipated, especially among the female shopping demographic that this store caters to. After all, Forever 21 is a highly-regarded brand in the US and other countries.

opening of Forever 21 at SM Megamall (courtesy of Inquirer)

Forever 21 officially opened on July 2, 2010 at SM Megamall to a queue of, as expected, female shoppers who were eager to check out what the store has to offer, especially when it comes to fashion.

Uniqlo, June 2012

Of the ones listed here in this entry, perhaps the case of Uniqlo is something unique. (pun slightly intended) For one, while it is a popular clothing retail brand from Japan, it does not have much of a strong recall as that of say, Forever 21. Another thing is that Uniqlo’s fashion offerings were being perceived as geared more towards markets that experience winter. So it was interesting to see how a tropical country like the Philippines would react to retailer which is known for their jackets and sweaters.

the opening of Uniqlo at SM Mall of Asia (courtesy of the Philippine Star)

Nevertheless, the opening of its first branch in SM Mall of Asia on June 15, 2012 was met with a warm reception (pun intended which is to be taken figuratively) among the shoppers.

Tim Ho Wan, May 2014

Back in Hong Kong where it originated, Tim Ho Wan has gotten a reputation for being a popular dimsum restaurant. So popular that seeing queues going to the restaurant is a normal sight to see. More so when it has gotten a Michelin star, an achievement that propelled its reputation even further.

Tim Ho Wan’s opening at SM Megamall; note the long queue that can be seen in the background (courtesy of Pepper.ph)

For Filipinos, especially those who have been to Hong Kong in recent years, seeing a Tim Ho Wan open in our shores was reason enough to be excited. Thus its opening at SM Megamall on May 20, 2014 was greeted by the long queues Tim Ho Wan has long been known for.

H&M, October 2014

As far as store openings go, the opening of the Denmark based clothing retail chain H&M was probably the most buzzed and hyped store openings in the city as it prompted a long queue, especially among the urban fashionistas who are dying to wear some of their apparel.

H&M’s opening at SM Megamall (courtesy of Chuvaness)

It was an anticipation so crazy that a queue was forming up even the day before the official opening which was October 17, probably lining up for the gift cards H&M was offering for its first customers. In any case, Manila’s fashionistas gave H&M an intense warm greeting as red as its logo.


I’m sure I may have missed out other notable examples; feel free to share them here as we will be finding out in the future which next big thing will make a big opening bang in the city.

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