What it takes to run the biggest fashion retail chain in the Philippines
Conversation with SM Store’s top women leaders
March 31, 2022
The forces behind the success of The SM Store’s fashion for women: Vice President for Women’s Wears Christine Cang-Sapnu and Vice President for Shoes and Bags Joyce Salvacion
This Women’s Month, we feature two leaders who ensure that The SM Store stays on top of providing the evolving fashion needs of women.
Christine Cang-Sapnu is Vice President for Women’s Wear and Joyce Salvacion is Vice President for Shoes and Bags. Both ensure overall profitability of their respective business units by achieving sales targets while keeping the operations efficient and their people happy.
We had a chat with Christine and Joyce to get to know more about how they lead the biggest fashion retail chain in the Philippines and their vision for women through The SM Store.
The SM Store has several homegrown brands for women’s wear. How do they differ from each other?
Christine: Each brand has its own unique style to represent different lifestyles. SM Woman is a go-to brand for the latest ladies’ apparel, from office wear, casual to formal wear, active to lounge wear. Coco Cabaña offers pieces for the “always summer” wardrobe. Gigi Amore has comfortable and stylish innerwear. GTW Urban focuses on casual street wear. Prima is more on polished pieces. And Baleno is for everyday go-to essentials.
Joyce: For bags and shoes, almost everyone who has ever been to an SM department store is familiar with Parisian, known for quality and affordable shoes and bags. SM Accessories has diverse pieces to elevate any look.
The SM Store is home to local brands that cater to the different lifestyles of women and their many roles.
How do the products of The SM Store help women feel empowered and confident?
Christine: Our items are very diverse to suit all women and their many roles, whether she is a home manager, a career woman, an entrepreneur, a care giver, a mom. We aim to highlight their individuality as they carry out their mission confidently and comfortably.
Joyce: Through our work, we are giving the Filipinas a chance to reinvent themselves and embrace who they really are through fashion.
What’s new in women’s fashion?
Christine: The big trend now is elevated comfort. These are basics that are easy to wear but still gives a statement. Effortless yet still chic.
What are the usual roles of women in our industry?
Christine: Women are all over the fashion industry—from those in the front lines and to those behind the scenes. From developing and producing the merchandise, to promoting the collection and providing customer service online and in-store.
What is your mentorship style?
Christine: I don’t do a one-size-fits-all approach. I can be a challenger to one but can also be a motivator to another.
Joyce: Nothing beats the mentoring style of showing your people the actions that you want them to emulate.
What does Women’s Month mean for you?
Christine: Women’s Month is about recognizing the extraordinary roles, achievements, and contributions of women in our society. Women have navigated and embraced change through their exceptional skills, compassion and mindfulness to reach their goals. It’s only apt to celebrate women not just this March but all throughout the year!
Joyce: Women’s month is a reminder to all women that we are beautiful and there is nothing that can stop us from exuding confidence.
Why is it important for The SM Store to be visible in the celebration of women?
Christine: Through The SM Store’s products, services, and values we stand for, we want women from all walks of life to know that they have an ally in us not just during Women’s Month but in all days of the year.
About: The SM Store is the Philippines’ largest department store chain with several branches nationwide. Since our first store opened in 1958, The SM Store has been a long-time favorite one-stop-shop with the best product variety, shopping convenience, and value for money. We offer a great selection of menswear, womenswear, children’s wear, all kinds of beauty products, and things for the home. You can also find stationery, electronic gadgets, snacks, toys, hardware, and fun Philippine souvenirs here.
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