2022 PRA Magazine Retailing Magazine 1st Quarter Edition - Page 4

AN OPPORTUNITY IN EVERY CRISIS :

AN OPPORTUNITY IN EVERY CRISIS :

THE GROWTH OF OUTDOOR AND SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE BRANDS AMIDST THE PANDEMIC

It all began with a vision in 1985 . Five close friends decided to establish a small trading company that imported and sold a wide range of merchandise . The simple buy-and-sell venture called Primer International Corp ., would later become the Primer Group of Companies - one of the fastest-growing and most formidable names in Philippine retail , composed of about 3,000 passionate employees .
When asked how this was achieved , Jimmy Thai ( Jimmy ) the President , CEO , and one of the founders of Primer group of companies answered : “ Build your business with the people you have fun working with . Build an organization that builds relationships and improves quality of life more than just money and profitability .”
The Primer Group of Companies ’ portfolio includes specialty concept stores like The Travel Club , Bratpack , Recreational Outdoor Exchange ( R . O . X .), ResToeRun , GRND , SneakPeek , Headquarters and Flight001 . With operations in 10 countries and relationships with over 150 leading global brands in outdoor , travel , action sports , footwear , fashion , wellness and urban lifestyle , the group has also expanded to non-retail businesses like HVAC and sanitary-wares . Primer also entered a specialty hospitality business as it brought Adria mobile homes and tents from Slovenia into the region . The glamping tents are now located in Primer ’ s resort-hotel in The Park - Silang , Cavite .
Since the early 2000 ’ s , the Primer Group of Companies has been a pioneer , not just in the Philippines but also in the region , in introducing outdoor lifestyle and action sports brands . The group has been representing brands in the outdoor category for almost two decades now for the likes of The North Face , Columbia Sportswear , Montbell , Salomon as well as brands that fall under the Action Sports category like Quiksilver , Billabong , DC and many more .
Primer boasts of its roster of 150 brands in the outdoor and travel category , with 15 R . O . X outdoor concept stores and 10 GRND action sports concept stores in the Philippines , 2 R . O . X . stores in Thailand and 1 R . O . X . store in Malaysia . The Primer Group of Companies also recently acquired the Poler Outdoor brand based in Portland , USA which is distributed globally including US , Japan , Korea , Taiwan , Australia and South East Asia , making Primer group a global player in the outdoor lifestyle category .
When the COVID-19 pandemic began , it had various effects on the business of the retail industry and retailers were forced to employ a more innovative way of thinking . Businesses had to become more reactive to the shift of consumer behavior .
“ Even prior to the pandemic , we could see that the world was already shifting to a more sustainable lifestyle from championing the battle on climate change and building a circular economy , to embracing the outdoor and adventure lifestyles .” said Jimmy . Primer Group of Companies is also known to be an advocate of sustainability . Many of the group ’ s brands are ecological and eco-friendly , such as Hydro fask , Native , Nalgene , DFNS , Aquama and more . Even Primer ’ s Adria Glamping Tents in The Park are friends of the environment as Adria ’ s