GREENHILLS: IMPORTED PRODUCTS AT BARGAIN PRICES

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Greenhills: Imported Products at Bargain Prices
By Issa Santiago


If it makes no sense to you to fly to Bangkok or Hong Kong just to buy cheap clothes and knick-knacks, there’s one place that’s your best bet for imported stuff at the right price: Greenhills in San Juan. Once left behind by the boom in giant shopping malls, it has undergone a quiet transformation in the last few years to successfully cater to all shopping budgets.

Hop aboard for a tour of this fabled shopping mecca!

Shoppesville Arcade
If you can only go to one part of Greenhills, go to Shoppesville Arcade. It’s a hodgepodge of clothes, accessories, shoes, dry goods, fabric, toys, home décor, etc. And for some reason, it feels much safer. If you’re short of cash, there’s even an ATM machine on the second floor.

If you’re a clotheshorse, the third and fourth floors have the best buys. Go to the Bargain Center at the fourth floor. It’s actually two floors of wall-to-wall clothes. Local and imported items vie for attention with Bangkok blouses starting at P450.

The second floor has toys, shoes, fabrics, perfumes, branded shoes and bags. The genuine imported items are here. Perfumes, for example, sell for at least P1,000 less than department store prices. Some big local stores like Celine have set up shop here, too.

The first floor still has more local clothes and fabric, but is mostly populated by places where you can park your feet and eat.

The New Greenhills

Lifestyle Center
The ground floor is now the permanent home of the famous Pearl Jewelry tiangge in their new and attractive stalls. It also houses some of the well-loved fast food restaurants in the country like Kenny Rogers, Popeye’s Chicken, Tokyo Tokyo and Brothers Burger to satisfy the hunger of our shoppers for a variety of delicious food.

The second floor and a portion of the ground floor contain the centerpiece of the building. It has about 80 plus merchants offering a wide selection of beautiful but practical home furnishings, some of which were crafted by some of our noted furniture makers in Tarlac & Pampanga, and at affordable prices. Plus the bigger and better second store of Automatic Center in the shopping complex which makes it more convenient for the shoppers to buy their favorite brands of appliances.

Greenhills Theater Mall
The Greenhills Theater Mall used to be the old Greenhills Theater. The entire area has been renovated and now includes eating outlets and shops.

Aside from being the newest, the theater mall is now the trendiest part of Greenhills. Fine dining restaurants and coffee shops welcome you at the front. The center of the mall is an oasis of quaint eating places as well. It is the venue of choice for students looking for a bite.

The layout of the shops is tiered. You walk down one lane, go around the bend and go up another lane, or vice versa. Most of the shops carry clothes and have the same items as the other stalls in the complex.

Virra Mall
Virra Mall is the precursor of today’s malls, becoming a landmark in the early 1970s. Nowadays, it’s known as much for its bootleg stuff as for its pioneering computer shops and tiangge stalls.

There are shops that offer imported items you’d like corned beef, Ponds cold cream in the big jar, Dove and Irish Springs soaps, dietary supplements, etc. Long-time customers place orders for these fast-moving goods.

The second floor is a haven for computer lovers and the first floor is full of cellular phone shops. CDs, DVDs are available all over the place.

A few shopping tips
Those with a hankering for imported items will certainly find the trip to Greenhills worth it. But it’s best to keep the following in mind, to make your shopping experience as hassle-free and pleasant as possible:

1. Avoid the rush hours/days. The place is surprisingly packed even on weekdays, but is still nothing like the weekends. Be there by mid-morning to browse before the crowd gets overwhelming. If you hate crowds, don’t go during the weekend.

2. Dress comfortably. Wear light clothes and comfortable walking shoes. Even with airconditioning, it can get warm with big crowds. And if you’re really looking for bargains, be ready to walk around for hours. Don’t wear expensive jewelry. Keep bags close to your person, and remember where you’re keeping your wallet at all times.

3. Be early to get good parking space. All parking is outdoors. You also have to pay for it if you’re within the complex. Try to be in the area before 9 a.m. to get good parking space inside. If you come in later, you can park in the side streets around the area, but prepare to walk a long way. There are streets in or near the village, however, where parking is not allowed.

4. Eat ahead. There are lots of fast food outlets; all the big chains have their branches here. There are also fine dining places and specialty coffee shops for those with bigger budgets. People from nearby areas converge on the area during lunch hours, so, if you can, eat before or after peak dining hours. 5. Have a budget on hand. How much are you willing to pay for an item? Remember that this stuff is imported, so be prepared to pay a bit more than local goods. But since there are so many choices, you can always canvass within your budget and still find something to like.

Tips in Putting Up a Bazaar
1. Duration of tiangge. is it a 3 day gig or we talking weeks?it would affect the manpower you need which includes salary or are you minding the stall yourself?

2. Work of advise, LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION. It really matters. Where the tiannge is located and where your stall is located.

3. Source out reliable/reasonably priced suppliers so u can be assured of regu lar new stocks.

4. Bazaars are good to try out or exhibits in the malls. It allows u to test the market in that particular area.

5. It is always an advantage if you carry products that are slightly different from the other stalls, kahit sa style na lang. If not, customers couldn’t distinguish you from the others kasi you all sell the same clothes.

6. Use whatever free resources you have. If you have friends, relatives, who are willing to consign their stuff, try those first. It is the much cheaper way to test the market. Only shell out cash if there’s no other option.

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