When Robinsons Place Ilocos, the 29th mall of one of the country’s largest conglomerates, opened in San Nicolas town over six years ago in 2009, it was met with much fanfare. A couple of local department stores in nearby Laoag City, the capitol of Ilocos Norte, had been there for decades but the merchandise was neither plentiful nor varied.
At Robinsons Place Ilocos, there was much to do, taste and see. Residents from the nearby towns and even those farther off like Ilocos Sur and La Union would make a day of it–leaving their homes early in the morning so they could be there when the mall opened, having a hearty and extended lunch at the food court or any of the restaurants, watching the lastest Hollywood or Pinoy blockbuster at Robinsons Movieworld, and then heading home before dusk since few public utility vehicles plied the routes late at night.
To accommodate the mall’s growing number of customers, Robinsons Land initiated an expansion that added a new wing with more retail and dining options, three new cinemas to complement the existing three, BPO offices and parking slots. With the opening of Robinsons Place Ilocos Expansion Mall on July 14, Robinsons Place Ilocos has grown to more than twice its original size.
MIX OF TRADITIONAL AND MODERN
Regular mall-goers might notice a difference between the two wings. While the original mall followed a design that capitalized on the province’s rusticity with the studied use of natural stone and clay bricks, the new mall boasts futuristic lighting, water features and an al fresco area.
The red clay bricks that are a thriving cottage industry in the town of San Nicolas can still be found at the expansion, and serve as a unifying element for the mall. The unique feature, however, is the al fresco area with a view of the mall’s dancing fountains. Visitors now have the option to dine at any of the restaurants, bakeshops and bars when the sun goes down and the heat has dissipated.
MORE SHOPPING, DINING OPTIONS
Aside from getting a bite to eat or a full meal at the Expansion Mall, mall-goers will soon get to shop at the anchor stores like Toys ‘R Us and Daiso as well as new and popular brands like Cotton On, Giordano, Payless and Watsons. Gadget aficionados will have a field day when brands like Samsung, Oppo and Cherry Mobile open.
The mall’s business partners were carefully considered so as to give mall-goers an even wider range of choices when it comes to retail, dining and services. As such, Ilocanos can look forward to David’s Salon and Fresh Salon and Spa at the second level. There will also be a number of casual dining restaurants and coffee shops at the Food Gallery lining the mall’s new bridgeway on the second level.
Also, once completed, the redeveloped Lingkod Pinoy Center at the second level of the Robinsons Place Ilocos will provide even more convenience to mall-goers who need to pay their utility bills or require certain government-issued documents.
In a good way, Robinsons Place Ilocos will serve as an extension of the traditional town plaza where locals used to shop, eat and be entertained. Now, however, they can do all these in an air-conditioned, state-of-art setting. The new Robinsons Place Ilocos Expansion Mall in San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte opens on July 14.