Flipflops Market in the Philippines

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Introduction

“Slip into comfortability, on and off the shore”

Offshore entered Philippine flip-flop industry in 2003 as an all Filipino-designed palm beach slippers. Amazed with Philippine beaches, Anton Ng dreamt of building a product that will embody these beautiful beaches and will be shared by every Filipinos and the rest of the world. The Filipino-Chinese businessman wanted to offer a pair of slippers that would define comfortability and durability. He named the slippers Offshore, envisioning that these are the pair of slippers that would be worn on and off the shore.

"Philippines is popular around the world for its beautiful beaches and vacation spots, Offshore flip-flops are the perfect companion when you are taking the time off or when you are offshore," he said.

The designing process is crucial for the company whose aim is to showcase the essence of attractive Philippine beaches and the Filipino spirit in whole. Ng believes in the talent and skills of Filipino graphic artists. Offshore hires nimble young designers who would create lively dynamic flip-flop prints. A rigorous selection process is done from all available designs every season where offshore releases a new set of flip-flop collection. The collection theme and color scheme should match the current season trends and styles. A couple of market tests are done across different Asian countries, before mass producing a new design in throughout Asia. After observing consumer responses to the sample slippers, a final selection of successful flip-flop designs will be done. Offshore prods rigorous quality control process in its production line to minimize the volume of product defects and returns. Given its stern quality inspection, it takes a couple of weeks to produce a batch of slippers. The ultimate goal of the company is to provide comfy and highly durable slippers at an affordable price to every Filipino and to the rest of Asia.

The company achieves low costs production by acquiring all raw materials form China and outsourcing the production in China, as well. Although, the designs and prints are purely Filipino, the flip-flop itself is 100% China-made in terms of materials and labor. By doing so, Offshore has competitive in pricing. In fact, Offshore is one of the cheapest brands in department stores. The products have strong focus in Filipino design for everyday casual wear that would complement current fashion trends. However, the local market has perceived Offshore as low-quality china brand. In addition, the company failed to convey its all-Filipino designed-message to the public.

Industry Background

"We have to admit that the imported brands of flip-flops paved the way to the re-entry of flip-flops in the footwear business but it doesn't mean that a Filipino brand can't join the race. With Offshore, we are hoping that by creating our own designs and even Filipino-inspired ones, we are not only making quality flip-flops, but we are also giving it back to our country. Our goal is simple and straightforward, a pair of Offshore for every Filipino", said Ng.

The word tsinelas (slippers) originated from the Spanish word chinela, traditional Filipino slippers are made from Abaka. It’s has a simple sole with Y-shaped strap. Slippers are household commodities for Filipinos regardless of economic class. Now it’s no longer called tsinelas or slippers, rather flipflops. It can be made from a wide range of materials such as leather, rubber, plastic and even textile.

In the old days the most popular local brands of tsinelas were Spartan, Beach Walk, Rambo, and Islander. Each of them has a strong market positioning. Spartan is the durable brand, Beach Walk is soft and comfortable, Rambo has its very thick sole, while Islander is the classy type.

The beginning of 2003 marked the success for Brazilian flipflop brands such as today’s market leader Havaianas followed by Ipanema. These brands revolutionized the way Filipinos wear...
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