DLSU’s official merchandise shop The Store has signed a strategic partnership with fashion brands Forever 21, H&M, and Uniqlo in designing and launching a new product line. The three fashion brands recently signed a P10 million contract with DLSU last February 29, resulting to new merchandise up for grabs in The Store beginning third term of this academic year.
This strategy, Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Services Karen Hebron says, will help boost The Store’s declining sales by hopefully attracting students into buying more official University merchandise.
“One of the other possible reasons that The Store experienced a decline in sales last year is that the clothing designs don’t seem appealing to students,” Hebron shares. She adds that having a tie-up with top fashion brands will help DLSU create more stylish designs that will cater to the fashion needs and wants of the students.
Students on the new product line
Chris* (III, AB-PSM) says that the current t-shirts created by the University Student Government (USG) are better than the ones sold at The Store. He describes, “They (USG) sell cheaper shirts and are more knowledgeable of the designs that students like, so this is probably why students tend to buy from them.” Moreover, he shares his belief that the partnership with top fashion brands is a great marketing strategy for The Store.
“The USG, however, should probably consider lessening t-shirt selling projects because this creates a stiff competition among many businesses including The Store that are also involved in selling. They should focus more on projects that really matter,” Ben* (III, BS-BIO) argues.
The USG organizes various t-shirt selling projects that are regarded as fundraising activities. Although many USG units have gained much criticism from continuously selling t-shirts, many students still avail of such items.
“There are also external businesses that The Store should compete with, such as Animo Nation, which has a variety of La Salle shirts to choose from,” Ray* (II, MGT) states.
Every UAAP season, Animo Nation and other external businesses experience an increase in sales because of students who want to support DLSU’s athletes during sporting events. These external businesses have a variety of designs which are mostly inspired by DLSU’s athletes.
Students, however, express that they would greatly consider buying a shirt from the new product line featuring designs by Forever 21, H&M, and Uniqlo. “Although it would probably be more expensive, the quality’s sure to be good. Wearing a high quality shirt from your University makes you proud just by wearing it,” Christine* (I, AB-OCM) says.
Other students interviewed by The LaSallian share that they were looking forward to this partnership, considering that they own several of their clothes from the mentioned fashion brands. “For me, I’d definitely love wearing something stylish and familiar. The representation of my school is just an added bonus,” Clarissa* (III, BSCS-CSE).
“Being a Lasallian is both an honor and responsibility. If I were to wear fashionable clothes made by both DLSU and my favorite brand, I will be able to live up to my fashion taste by wearing clothes that can give an impressive look while expressing my loyalty to the University. I want to show the Lasallian community, the world rather, that I am confidently beautiful with my t-shirt,” Ariel* (IV, PLM-MKT) explains.
Some students, however, are against the new clothing line, and describe that this is just another one of DLSU’s commercialization schemes. Among recent services offered by DLSU include the Power Mac Center, Gold’s Gym, Yoga+ Express, and vending machines on campus.
Partnering with top brands
The Store has chosen Forever 21, H&M, and Uniqlo to collaborate with in producing a new clothing line as an attempt to bolster its declining sales. Management of The Store also share that they aim to produce La Salle t-shirts with better quality compared to the current designs.
“We believe that, by partnering with top fashion brands, our products will have better quality and advantageous edge among others in the business. [As a result] DLSU students will soon begin to buy from us again,” Hebron states.
American clothing brand Forever 21 promises to integrate a “trendy and hip” design into The Store’s products.
“Forever 21 knows the younger generation’s taste for fashion and we are dedicated into catering this by providing trendy and hip clothing with reasonable pricing. Partnering with DLSU’s The Store would further close the gap between us and the college youth,” Forever 21 Philippines Business Unit Head Dixie Lim says.
On the other hand, H&M guarantees an “H&M x DLSU collection” that will be available for sale at The Store and in all H&M retail outlets in Metro Manila.
“Following the popularity and success of DLSU athletes in this season’s UAAP games, we have decided to create a clothing line entirely inspired by the University and its athletes,” shares H&M Philippines Marketing Unit Head Winnie Ong.
The Swedish company plans to get Jeron Teng and Andrei Caracut as official endorsers and sell t-shirts bearing the popular hashtags “#Tengnation and #Caracute” to attract the athletes’ growing number of followers.
Uniqlo, known to collaborate with other famous brands like Jollibee, admits that they have been eyeing the DLSU community
“for a long time” as a potential market for their products. Finally they have been given the chance to concretize their plans by tying up with The Store.
Approval of the designs
To ensure that the new clothing line will be of high quality and follows the standards of the University, DLSU’s Office for Strategic Communications (STRATCOM) will be handling the approval of the new designs. DLSU STRATCOM Executive Director Jose Mari Magpayo says that the product developments are already underway and will just need the office’s approval later on.
“I believe this is something that the Lasallian community would surely look forward to. Like most universities, we bring our reputation and image as a community through the shirts or other school-related merchandise we patronize,” Magpayo adds.