Toby’s storeowner hires design firm in foray into youth market

In Photo: Each section of Toby’s Sports new store design is adorned by life-size mannequins, colorful graphics and digital displays adorn each section, displaying the latest trends in every sport category.

RECOGNIZING the huge potential of millennials as a major growth driver of business, the company operating the Toby’s Sports store brand has tapped a consultant for a major redesign.

“We decided that for this new generation, we wanted to elevate the image to the level of the world-class brands that we carry in store,” Quorum International Inc. President and CEO Toby Claudio told the BusinessMirror. “So we collaborated with a firm that is an expert at designing stores for top international stores.”

Claudio, however, declined to disclose how much his company paid the consultant.

In redesigning the shops, Claudio said he instructed the design team to develop a design for the store that will “tell stories” about the brands and the products. He added the products in Toby’s Stores “can share a lot of stories when it comes to their specifications, features, advantages, the technology behind them and how it will help a buyer improve his performance.”

“So the new design presents products in a way that will help customers ‘discover’ and find the products that they need for their specific activity,” Claudio added.

He cited as example the arrangement of the products by gender—men’s and women’s—then by type of sports—basketball, running, training, lifestyle, fitness, racket sports, watersports, outdoor, martial arts, etc., then by brand, that, according to Claudio, “makes for a much better shopping experience.”

“We also have an elevated selection of products from the top brands that we showcase in these new stores through more ‘impactful displays’ that [we believe] can inspire customers.”

He added the company has factored in millennials in its business roadmap by developing a stronger presence in the digital economy.

“Yes, definitely, this generation will drive growth [for us] in the future. And it’s very important to understand their shopping habits,” Claudio said. “We want to make sure that [in] our 40th year in the business, we are still the leader when it comes to sports retailing.”

He cited as example the relaunching of the firm’s electronic commerce (e-commerce) site and the merging of the offline and online experience in its Toby’s-branded stores. By adopting a two-pronged approach, Claudio said Toby’s wants to make sure it can serve customers’ needs whenever and wherever they are.

“We are also very active on social media and have a very engaged audience through our FB, IG, etc., sites. We do this to connect with customers and inform them of what’s new and what’s going on in store,” he said. “We’ve been doing this for quite some time so our website and social media pages are the top most frequented sites in the sports category in the Philippines.”

Claudio’s views came before the release of a study that put the Philippines ahead of 19 Asian nations in terms of e-commerce.

“The Philippines, one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies, is poised to see more import e-commerce market expansion in the coming years,” the study, titled “Youth Mobility Index 2018,” said.

The country “ranks No. 1 in inbound shipping cost-performance, which suggests that it is most cost effective for import delivery.”

The Philippines also ranked No. 1 in “stakeholder tolerance and English capacity,” the study by the DotAsia Organization revealed. DotAsia Organization, the sponsoring organization and registry operator for the dot-Asia (“.Asia”) top-level domain, said this capacity indicates “that the environment [the business, government and civil society] is very welcoming to expats.”

Claudio said the company is also aware that the sports market is constantly evolving. Thus, Toby’s has been always consistent in its 39 years of existence finding ways to constantly improve the store experience of its customers, he added. Moreover, it wants to stay one step ahead and give customers new reasons to shop at its stores.


Rizal Raoul Reyes

Rizal Raoul S. Reyes has covered technology, science, business, property and special reports. He had working stints with the Business Star, Manila Bulletin and Independent Daily News.