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Saturday, May 25, 2013

SM Aura Opening

Whenever big malls and supermarkets open, I have the honor of being invited to the blessing to share the "auspicious event" with the owners or management of the new establishment. I am always grateful for being remembered and included in the guest list.

Welcome to premier shopping and lifestyle!
The most recent and undoubtedly, one of the grandest openings I've attended in the more than 20 years in the industry is that of the new premier mall of the SM Group, the SM Aura! This truly is making a statement in the retailing industry, not only in the Philippines, but across the Region. The quality, scale and approachable elegance of the SM Aura Mall is proud evidence that our malls can rival the best in the world. In a sense, the event was not only the opening of the SM Aura Mall. But, rather because of the impact this grand mall will make, it can be seen as the "Grand Opening of the Philippines" as a shopping Mecca in Asia, as well.

All roads lead to SM Aura.

A ton of local celebrities and personalities from the business community, fashion world and a sprinkling of politicians showed up for the event. But, the SM Group had a bigger treat for those in attendance. The SM Aura, being a prestige and lifestyle mall, SM management brought in no less than the global icon for style and fashion, Sarah Jessica Parker to cut the ceremonial ribbon. It was a casting coup that no other mall has been able to match. Again, it was a statement that Aura is indeed, world class.

Global Fashion and Lifestyle Icon - SJP! (photo by elysplanet)

As SJ Parker walked by, I found myself being as star struck as all the other people in the event. It didn't matter that some of those I was standing alongside with to get a glimpse of the celebrity were CEO's or top showbiz personalities. When she descended upon SM Aura and walked among us mere mortals, we were all smitten by her simple elegance and the warm personality that seemed to radiate from her.

Sarah Jessica Parker and SM Prime Head, Mr. Hans Sy
Given the prestige of the event and always, as a sign of respect to the owners, I thought it best to put on a suit for the occasion. There was a lot of buzz about Sarah Jessica Parker's presence, so I whip out the old reliable dark Armani suit to look as pogi as I could. It didn't help much, though. And though I didn't get to have a picture taken with SJ Parker, I did bump into a few VIPs of this world.

SM Supermarket AVP, Ms Anette Ong. Who needs Sarah Jessica Parker?

With "Eventologist", multi talented, Tim Yap and Mrs Karen Parungo of SM Malls.
The Tessa Prieto-Valdez - triathlete, columnist, showbiz personality, host.

My college track team buddy is now a Rice Trading Magnate.
Benson Tan, in the house.

Belo Essentials Marketing Manager, Lerma Mendoza (left) and
National Sales Manager, Erwin Reodica (Right).

The SM Supermarket on the ground floor is a mix of the best local brands and a good dose of imported products. The ambiance, product assortment, courteous and capable store staff and great merchandising makes the shopping experience here a family treat.

Century Canning Corporation + a few competitors..on the shelf :)

Here, Herbert Sy was holding court and warmly welcomed the "who's who" in the FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) industry. Even the "biggest of the big, the mightiest of the mighty" among CEO's from the industry make it a point to attend events such as this to get to spend even a fraction of a minute with the King of Philippine Supermarket Retail.

There is a good mix of middle to high end food shops and retail shops in the 5 floors that I got to see at SM Aura. The regular traffic builders are well represented. But there are several new ones that do catch attention. There is also an SM Convention Center which now adds to the much needed venues for events at the Bonifacio Global City.

The personal care aisle. Very impressive. It induces you to shop.

The ground floor...the opening draws a huge crowd despite
being a "by invitation only" event.

Indeed the retail landscape has changed with the opening of SM Aura. Filipinos need not travel to experience world class retailing. Now, it is just a short drive to the BGC to visit and experience, breathtaking, SM Aura.

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