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Don’t be duped into buying fakes

Online shopping is convenient, but the Internet is rife with illegitimate merchants looking to take advantage of shoppers’ good cheer.

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Photo by Paweł Czerwiński from Unsplash.com

Millions of people will come across gifts that are far more unpleasant than a lump of coal. With the global trade of counterfeit goods rising to more than half a trillion dollars, the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC) and Crime Stoppers International (CSI) are issuing tips to help holiday shoppers identify fake goods and offering resources to help them report the crime. These counterfeit products are in all corners of the Internet, and buyers may find it difficult to differentiate between real and fake items.

“Online shopping is convenient, but the Internet is rife with illegitimate merchants looking to take advantage of shoppers’ good cheer,” acknowledged IACC President Bob Barchiesi. “These criminals hide behind the anonymity of the Internet and use sophisticated tactics to dupe their victims into buying fakes.”

To help consumers identify fakes, the IACC recommends following the “3 P’s” rule. Consumers should look at:

  • Price. If the price is too good to be true, then it is most likely a counterfeit.
  • Packaging. Stay away from products that are shipped without packaging or are packaged poorly. If it does come in a package, look out for misspellings, blurry logos, or smudged ink.
  • Place. Be wary of which sites you shop from. Fake websites are designed to look professionally made by mimicking the design and typography of the real brand. Always fact-check the “FAQ” or “About Us” tabs for inconsistencies, and make sure there is an acceptable return policy.

Should a shopper suspect their item is fake, the IACC recommends contacting the seller or e-commerce platform, or reporting it (for instance, if you’re in the US, to Crime Stoppers International or the National IPR Coordination Center).

“We have to fight fire with fire,” commented acting CEO of CSI, Devrol Dupigny. “Criminal networks are using the latest technologies available to perpetrate crimes online, so it is incumbent on organizations such as the IACC, CSI and others to continuously make the public aware of new trends and provide them with readily available tools to act and report.”

Counterfeiters manufacture products with cheap, substandard, and dangerous components. Fake items such as toys may contain lead. Bogus beauty and skin products may contain hazardous chemicals such as arsenic. These can cause serious harm to people who come into contact with them, especially children.

“Counterfeiting is not a victimless crime. We’ve seen far too many cases of people seeking medical help as a result of using or ingesting counterfeit products,” said Mr. Barchiesi. “We hope people will stay vigilant while shopping online and have a safe and joyous holiday season, free from counterfeits.”

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Beauty & Fashion

UNIQLO Mall of Asia store reopens on May 17

The branch first opened in 2012 as the global brand’s very first store in the Philippines, introducing Filipinos to UNIQLO’s stylish and functional everyday clothing.

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UNIQLO’s original MOA store is set to open its doors once more after major updates. The newly revamped store comes with a bigger space and larger offerings.

The branch opened in 2012 as the global brand’s very first store in the Philippines, introducing Filipinos to UNIQLO’s stylish and functional everyday clothing. With its sprawling 1,550 square meters at that time, the store served thousands of customers in the largest mall in the country and remained as one of the go-to hubs for LifeWear.

On May 17, the all-new UNIQLO MOA store promises to be even bigger with a doubled-up floor space of over 3,000 square meters spread across two floors. Loyal and new customers alike will surely enjoy the store’s new layout and latest presentations, as the space evolves with the new lifestyles of Filipinos.

Redefined experiences

Aside from featuring a vast selection of LifeWear pieces, the all-new UNIQLO MOA store will also redefine the retail experience where in-store and online shopping comes hand-in-hand. Store-driven efforts such as same-day Click & Collect are set to give customers an integrated shopping experience with UNIQLO.

The all-new UNIQLO MOA store will also be the second store in the country to have UNIQLO Coffee and UTMe! Originally only available at UNIQLO Manila Global Flagship Store in Glorietta 5, UNIQLO Coffee and UTme! is coming to the MOA store to delight coffee lovers and art lovers, respectively.

UNIQLO Coffee in the Philippines presents locally sourced, high-quality coffee beans from Mt. Apo, and features goods and pastries that mix Filipino and Japanese flavors.

Meanwhile, the UTme! service lets customers customize shirts and tote bags with various designs from its library or their own creations and images. To celebrate the new opening, UNIQLO is expanding its UTme! line-up with new designs in collaboration with partners from the local community.

Redefined lifestyles

The UNIQLO MOA store offers the brand’s complete LifeWear collection for men’s, women’s, kids, and babies. The all-new store spotlights essentials that are made for all, such as, the UNIQLO Core T and UNIQLO BraTop collection. Collaboration pieces with world renowned designers and pop culture brands will also be available.

Mark your calendars on May 17 and join the eventful re-opening of the UNIQLO MOA store at Level 2 to 3 of MOA’s North main mall, sure to be filled with exciting surprises with a redefined shopping experience like no other.

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Beauty & Fashion

Decathlon opens new Cebu City store

It is the first store outside Mega Manila for the France-based sports brand, our 6th store in partnership with SM, and the first Decathlon Philippines store to open this 2024.

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Global sports retail brand Decathlon unveils its 10th store in the Philippines, a 3,000 sqm sports retail zone at SM City Cebu. It is the first store outside Mega Manila for the France-based sports brand, our 6th store in partnership with SM, and the first Decathlon Philippines store to open this 2024. 

“We are excited to launch not only a new store, but a key milestone for us in making sports accessible to more and more Filipinos,” Hans Iff, President of Decathlon Philippines, states. “In Decathlon we always go where the sport lovers are, and Cebu is the perfect starting line for us, with its blend of urban playgrounds and nature destinations, and of course its active and dynamic residents. We look forward to welcoming all sport lovers and sparking the wonders of sport within each one.” 

Decathlon Cebu offers an expansive range of products for over 70 sports, with expansive display areas and experience zones for everyone to try and test. “We are happy to be in Cebu, a home for outdoor, water, and multisport activities, and a popular local and international tourist hub. Our goal is to be where the sport passionates are, but we also recognize that we are so much more than sport – we exist to unlock the love of sport in everyone. We look forward to having everyone discover our best-value sports products at an accessible price, and welcome everyone in SM City Cebu, ” Hathaipat ‘Spray’ Theintangpiriya, store leader for Cebu and city leader for Visayas and Mindanao, shares. 

Spray also assures that the Decathlon journey will continue to grow in the Visayas region. “Our Cebu store is only the starting line of an exciting Decathlon adventure. Our mission definitely isn’t done, and you can look forward to having more and more stores within the region in the coming years.” 

Decathlon Cebu also has a few surprises for all sport lovers this opening week. On March 1 only, the first 100 customers will receive an exclusive Decathlon backpack. On March 1 to 3, customers with a minimum purchase of P3500 will get an exclusive Decathlon Cebu tote bag, and on March 4-10, a special dry bag awaits customers with a minimum single receipt worth Php 3500. Only Decathlon members are eligible for the promos – simply sign up for free to enjoy up to 2-year warranty and 365-day refund and exchange on most items, access to Decathlon playgrounds and sports events, and more member-only promos and exclusives. 

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Beauty & Fashion

Introducing Emirates’ Business Class loungewear

Emirates’ Business Class loungewear is composed of a super soft premium modal material, which customers find lightweight and breathable.

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 Emirates Business Class customers will now be able to enjoy a complimentary inflight loungewear set which includes a relaxed cowl neck top and drawstring pants, comfortable slippers, and a matching eye mask. The luxurious loungewear is designed to be the ideal ‘flight fit’ – perfect for sleeping in, but also suitable to wear for a social drink at the A380 onboard lounge, or as a casual outfit that takes you from aircraft to arrivals in style.

Emirates’ Business Class loungewear is composed of a super soft premium modal material, which customers find lightweight and breathable. Designed to reflect contemporary athleisure trends, the cozy fabric is in a relaxing shade of light blue, available in two sizes. The botanic fibers and jersey knit style means the loungewear has an elegant drape that flatters various body types, ensuring soft and stretchy comfort above the clouds. Presented in a complementary drawstring pouch, each set contains an adjustable loungewear top and pants, a pair of warm slippers and an eye mask.

Emirates Business Class customers will be offered the loungewear set upon boarding so they can change at their leisure and maximize comfort for the full duration of the flight. On flights of 9 hours or more, Business Class customers will receive the full set with loungewear top and pants, slippers and eye mask, while on flights that have a duration of 2 hours and 30 minutes, customers will receive complimentary slippers and eye mask sets.

The launch of Business Class Loungewear forms part of Emirates’ ongoing investment into elevating customer experience, ensuring customers in all classes ‘fly better’. Recent investments have included a huge retrofit project of 120 aircraft with upgraded cabin interiors, creative new menus and new high-quality ingredients, exclusive champagne partnerships, a new hospitality program for Emirates cabin crew, live TV onboard amidst a vast library of inflight entertainment, complimentary Wi-Fi attainable for all customers, luxurious amenity kits and a world-class wine list.

The multimillion-dollar investment into Business Class loungewear has been in development for more than a year, designed in-house by the Emirates team to be best-in-class for comfort, style and reusability. During the trial period on routes to and from New York and Boston, customers shared highly positive feedback on the loungewear, with sets being taken home by customers to be worn again.

Experience true inflight comfort with Emirates Business Class

When you fly Emirates Business Class, your journey becomes as exciting and memorable as your destination. Choose from a curated selection of regionally inspired gourmet dishes and enjoy the different flavors of the world, and then immerse yourself in Emirates’ award-winning entertainment with more than 6,500 channels of on-demand content for you to explore.

Pamper yourself and stay refreshed with the complimentary travel amenity kit featuring Bulgari products and comfort essentials including a dental kit, double mirror, deodorant, tissues, and a foldaway hairbrush. Relax and unwind in your seat which seamlessly reclines into a fully flat bed with a soft, comfy mattress and a cozy blanket for a good night’s sleep.

With Emirates Business Class, you also get exclusive access to Emirates chauffeur drive service for a seamless, door-to-door experience to and from the airport, available in over 70 cities worldwide. You’ll also get access to Emirates’ Business Class Lounge which offers complimentary Wi-Fi, a well-equipped Business Center, and an array of gourmet dining options and exclusive beverages, allowing you to ease into the next step of your journey.

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