Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in partnership with Robinsons Department Store, launched its first Go Lokal! store in Robinsons Place Manila on March 24.

Go Lokal! is a public-private collaboration between DTI and local retailer partners. Among its partners, Robinsons Department Store, an affiliate of Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc.,is the first to launch the project in a mainstream outlet. It serves as incubation, marketing, and branding platform for the best of Philippine micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) products including next generation One Town One Product (OTOP) offerings.

Go Lokal! stores showcase modern and indigenous quality products crafted, designed, and created by innovative Philippine MSMEs. It can be found in consumer-frequented locations as a mainstream distribution channel for world-class Filipino products while offering value for money for targeted consumers and tourists.

“DTI is excited to open its first mainstream Go Lokal! store with Robinsons Department Store as its dynamic partner in this effort of maximizing market access and providing exposure to our MSMEs. Go Lokal! is truly a vibrant model for MSME development and inclusive business. We are happy that committed partners like Robinsons have taken on this challenge. We look forward to opening more outlets in their malls and department stores across the country,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

The trade chief also said that aside from providing market access for MSME products, the Go Lokal! program is a platform for new entrepreneurs to test the marketability of their products without the fear of losing rental and commercial costs because their experience is free of charge.

The market access platform is set to revolutionize the way hard-to-find and artisanal Filipino products are sold in the local market. The design-led concept store will bring together a specially-curated line-up that ranges from food, apparel, accessories, home décor, gadgets and gift items.

“This is Robinsons way of featuring world-class locally-made quality products by our MSMEs. Go Lokal! supports Filipino entrepreneurs into their initial foray into more mainstream markets making them more accessible to both local and foreign consumers. The diverse product line of Go Lokal! brings together the best products that the Philippines has to offer,” said Mr. Johnson Go, General Manager of Robinsons Department Store.

“Ultimately, it’s all about accessibility and opportunity for MSMEs, both of which you need to be successful in retail. Go Lokal! is one way for DTI and Robinsons Department Store to give assurance to these business owners that they have support from both the government and the private sector so they may profit from ventures that they are passionate about,” Robinsons Department Store President and COO Robina Gokongwei-Pe said. Portion of Go Lokal! revenues will go to various corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects of Robinsons Department Store including the government’s drug rehabilitation program.