Young retail experts to speak at NRCE 2017

In Photo: Eric Dee, Richard Yap, Sheira Lim, Bean Marquez and Rissa Mananquil-Trillo

Young and successful retail brand owners and heads will be highlighted at the 24th edition of the National Retail Conference and Stores Asia Expo 2017 (NRCE) on August 10 and 11 at the SMX Convention Center Manila to inspire new breed of young retailers.

At the 24th edition of NRCE 2017, spotlight will be on the new generation of brand retailers on day one panel discussion, featuring Happy Skin founder and owner Rissa Mananquil-Trillo, Worship Generation Business Development head Kirk Chester Damasco, Apartment 8 Clothing President Sheira Lim, Straightforward Managing Director Jerald Sze, and Invitation House creative associate Bea Marquez, who will talk about the challenges and gains in opening and managing a store as young retailers.

Another highlight of the two-day conference will be the popular concept of anchoring food retail for mall development on day two panel discussion, which will feature new-generation food retailers Wangfu Group of Cos. President Richard Yap and Director Lester Pimentel, Sunnies Café CEO Eric Dee Jr., Suyen Corp. General Manager Jude Ong, SSI Executive Vice  President and General Manager  Steven Sarmenta, and French Baker CEO Johnlu Koa.

Happy Skin’s Mananquil-Trillo has made a mark as a multi-hyphenate achiever and established her expertise as an entrepreneur, a beauty expert, a journalist and a professional model for the last 22 years. She served as a consultant for the global beauty brand Pond’s, where she worked with Jacqe Gutierrez, who became her cofounder and business partner for Happy Skin years after.  They launched Happy Skin in 2013, which became the Philippines’s favorite homegrown brand of skin-caring makeup.

Apartment 8’s Lim ventured into fashion retail in 2005, when she was just fresh from school with the goal of helping women boost their confidence with the clothes they wear.  She has established Apartment 8 Clothing in 2006 and relaunched it in 2012.

Damasco is currently the business development head of Worship Generation, a brand of Christian-themed merchandise that seeks to make worship a lifestyle.

Marquez is the creative associate of Invitation House. She graduated with a degree in Organizational Communication from De La Salle University as magna cum laude in February 2017. Shehas been working for the company since January of the same year.

Sze is the founder and managing director of Straightforward, a local clothing brand that was born out of his frustration in finding and matching the right clothes to wear every morning in college.

Yap partnered with his friends to open Wangfu Café Chain of Restaurants in 2013, which serves Singaporean-Chinese food and with branches in Serendra, Tomas Morato and UP Town Center. Pimentel is the director and founder of Wangfu Group of Cos. and RBX Rice in a Box Food Corp., which has over 200 outlets nationwide.

Dee is the finance director and CEO of lifestyle brand Sunnies, which started operating in 2013 as Sunnies Studio offering trendy yet affordable sunglasses designed and made in-house.  The company later expanded to offer prescription eyewear (Sunnies Specs) and restaurant (Sunnies Café), both launched last year.

Ong has 15 years of experience in the retail industry. He has acquired substantial managerial exposure in working with various organizations, leading project teams and business units, and presently performing general management duties for one of the biggest retail conglomerates in the Philippines.

Koa is a dedicated and multi-awarded entrepreneur with more than 35 years of experience in food retail industry.

Sarmenta is the executive vice president and general manager of the three companies under Stores Specialists Group Inc. He handles the fashion retailers Marks & Spencer of Rustan Marketing Specialists Inc. and Debenhams of Rustan Specialty Concepts, Inc., as well as food retailer Specialty Food Retailers Inc., which offers brands such as TWG Tea, Oliviers & Co. and SaladStop!.

Bringing together the key movers and shakers of retail and its allied industries in a two-day conference, NRCE 2017, with the theme “Future-Proofing Retail”, will put together CEOs and top-level executives of companies all over the Philippines to talk about different topics, including new trends in retailing, branding design, future of shopping malls, creating niche in diverse market, online retailing, fashion retailing, impact of music in the marketplace, food retailing and engaging the millennial consumers, among others.

The annual NRCE—the biggest and most important retail event in the country—is the flagship project of the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA), the acknowledged national organization of retailers and suppliers nationwide.

The NRCE 2017 will also feature talks and panel discussions with industry experts and personalities, with Leyte Rep. and TV personality Lucy Torres-Gomez, Sen. Sonny Angara and Rustan Supercenters CEO Irwin Lee serving as keynote speakers.

Other international speakers and presenters include Filscap Vice President and noted TV personality and musician Jim Paredes, Zalora CEO Paolo Campos, Google Philippines Marketing Head Gabby Roxas, Springtime Design Limited Creative and Managing Director Chris Dingcong and Organization Development Advisor Susan Grace Rivera.

New for this year’s NRCE is the launch of the Supermarket Track dedicated to supermarkets and food retailers. To be discussed are modern retailing with a responsive trade department, spatial planning and grocery retailing in Asia.

To show its  support to the growing supermarket niche in the retail industry, NRCE 2017 will feature a special session on supermarket business on the first day.  The Supermarket Track will feature topics on “The DTI and Retailers: One in serving consumers” by Trade Undersecretary Teodoro Pascua; “Supermarket trends in Asia Pacific” by IGD Singapore Program Director Shirley Zhu, and “Winning at point of sale” by Nielsen Philippines Executive Director Patrick Cua.

NRCE 2017 Overall Chairman Lorenzo C. Formoso, who’s also the chairman of Federation of Asia Pacific Retailers Associations, said this year’s event aims to create a deeper understanding of modern retail, as well as open more opportunities for partnerships and networking.

Back to back with the conference is the only focused and dedicated retail suppliers’ expo showcasing the “tools for global retailing” from over 100 exhibitors offering products and solutions for the retail industry, such as Retail Solutions, E-Commerce & M-Commerce, Shop Fittings & Store Designs, Digital Marketing, Commercial and Real Estate Developers, Web Developers, Nontraditional Advertising, Financial Services, Storage and Distribution, HR Solutions and Billboard Locations, among others.

The Stores Asia Expo, which is the biggest in the Philippines and is one of the longest-running retail suppliers’ expos in Asia, expects to draw more than 3,000 visitors and decision-makers from the retail and related industries.

The NRCE 2017 is supported by The SM Store, PLDT Enterprise, Wilcon Depot and Globe Business as Platinum sponsors; Robinsons Malls, Ayala Malls, Araneta Cener Inc., Unilab and Bayer—gold; Hitachi Solutions Phils.—silver; Bench, Celine, Penshoppe and Kojie San—bronze; Sportshouse, Shangri-La Plaza, Goldilocks, Hearts and Arrows, Primer Group of Cos., Mercury Drug, Star Cruises, Sterling, HBC, Q creatives, Vista Mall, Adman Resources—sponsors; Philippine Airline—official carrier; Re-set—official creative agency; crimsonberry—official social media partner; Fascn8—Digital Advertising partner; the BusinessMirror—media partner; Rich Brand Graphix Inc, and Heritage Multi Office Products Inc., Alfafusion, Avanguard, Contagious, Icon, Voyager as expo sponsor, and WGSN and IGD as session sponsor.

For registration and exhibit inquiries, e-mail: [email protected] .com[email protected], or visit