By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Reporter
THE RUN of the standalone NBA stores in the country will cease at the end of August, the National Basketball Association office in the Philippines announced last week.
Citing the “conclusion of its agreement with its local retail partner,” NBA Philippines said the remaining NBA stores as well as its e-commerce site NBAStore.com.ph will stop operations by the end of the month even as it said it was “exploring new ways to bring exciting retail experiences to the Filipinos.”
The closures come nearly four years from the opening of the NBA Store flagship shop in the Philippines at Glorietta 3 in Makati City in December 2014.
In its announcement posted on social media on Aug. 9, NBA Philippines said the stores at SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City and Ayala Cebu will be closed as of Aug. 12 and 15, respectively, while that in TriNoma in Quezon City and NBAStore.com.ph will be close on Aug. 30.
These came on the heels of the closure of the Glorietta 3 store which ceased operations in June.
Last year, the NBA Café, located at SM Aura in Taguig City, also closed down.
Asked to elaborate on the closure of the stores, NBA Philippines respectfully begged off from providing further details and instead reiterated the pronouncements that it already gave out.
“Due to the conclusion of our agreement with our retail operator, International Athletic Trading Company, Inc. (IATC), all NBA Stores in Manila (Glorietta 3, SM Megamall, TriNoma) and Cebu (Ayala Cebu), as well as our e-commerce site NBAStore.com.ph, will be closed as of Aug. 30, 2018,” said NBA Philippines Managing Director Carlo Singson in a statement which was sent to BusinessWorld at the weekend.
“We would like to thank our loyal fans for their support of the NBA Stores in the Philippines. As we explore new ways to bring exciting retail experiences to Filipinos, please visit NBAStore.com and select Nike, Titan and Toby’s Sports stores for NBA merchandise,” the statement further read.
For IATC President and CEO Melvin Lloyd Lim, the closure of the NBA stores in the Philippines is “unfortunate” but something the parties concerned felt had to be done.
“Yes it’s very unfortunate [that the NBA stores have to close], but business is business. Honestly, it’s hard to talk about it. It’s more on the contract terms and profitability which in the end did not add up. It’s unfortunate but [was] bound to happen,” Mr. Lim said in a text message when sought for comment.
He, too, begged off from providing further details.
NBA Store Philippines, the first of such kind in Southeast Asia, first opened its doors on Dec. 5, 2014 at Glorietta 3, offering authentic NBA merchandise and memorabilia from all 30 teams, including jerseys, footwear, headwear, and basketballs.
Among the brands it carried were Adidas, Nike, New Era, Under Armour, Mitchell & Ness, Panini, Spalding, Stance Stocks, Upper Deck, and 2K Sports.
NBA-branded footwear and NBA Exclusive Apparel collections were also available at the store, which also served as the venue for a number of NBA-related activities, including hosting visiting NBA players and officials.
The second NBA Store opened in October 2015 at the Mega Fashion Hall in Megamall, and was followed up north in TriNoma in March 2016.
Ayala Cebu, the fourth store and first outside of Manila, opened in November 2016.
The online store in the country, meanwhile, went up middle of last year for easier purchase of merchandise in the country.