Rustan’s vice president formerchandising Marilen Tantoco at
Rustan’s Christmas Store
12 themes of Christmas at Rustan’s
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:05 AM October 18, 2019
It’s Christmas at Rustan’s and this year there are 12 new themes to choose from, ranging from child-proof plushies and pink pearl ornaments to rustic ribbons and feathered friends.
“We have a team that includes an artist and a buyer that attends holiday-theme foreign trade fairs where they take a sweeping look at the different items on display,” Marilen Tantoco, Rustan’s vice president for merchandising said. Based on what’s available and what looks fresh, they then come up with a variety of looks.
The fully decked trees follow a wide thematic range: the whimsical (unicorns in tutus, pink flamingos, confectionery plush toys), woodland-inspired (squirrels, snowy owls, crowned robins), dreamy romantic (blush-pink hydrangeas and frosted florals) and high-shine glam (golden orbs and metallic reindeer).
“We have customers who come in, walk around the Christmas Store before finally choosing a tree,” Marilen said. “An entire tree complete with all the trimmings comes with a six-figure price tag.”
For 40 years, Marilen has been buying for Rustan’s Home and credits her late mother Gliceria Tantoco for teaching her everything she knows.
“I didn’t know anything about buying for the home section, but she trained me to have a good eye for nice things. Also, when I’m buying I don’t think about myself. I think of my customers,” Marilen said.
“This year, aside from the trees and trimmings, we’ve also brought in spinning fiber-optic trees perfect for those living in condos,” said Zenaida “Nedy” Tantoco, SSI and Rustan’s chair. The idea to carry the “lighted” trees was Nedy’s own. She met with their supplier and chose five trees that come in several sizes.
If you prefer novelty items, Marilen has filled an entire display table at the Christmas Store with battery-powered singing and dancing snowmen, puppies and candy-striped Santa hats. “I like them. They make me happy,” she said. —Raoul J. Chee Kee