In 1985, five close friends pooled their time and resources to set up a small trading company that imported and then sold a wide variety of merchandise.
They did not imagine then that almost 35 years later, the simple buy-and-sell venture called Primer International Corp. would become one of the fastest-growing and most formidable names in retail, with operations in 10 countries and relationships with over 150 leading global brands in outdoor, travel, action sports, footwear, fashion, wellness and urban lifestyle.
o 1985: The founding directors formed Primer International Corporation (PIC) as a trading company, importing seasonal merchandise.
o 1989: Luggage Trading and Services (LTS) was established as The Primer Group’s first retail company.
o 1992: The Primer Group ventured into apparel licensing of Disney and Warner Bros.
o 1992: Uniglobe Travelware Co., Inc. (UTCI) was established, opening the Primer Group’s first retail concept store specializing in luggage, The Travel Club.
o 1993: Kenrich International Distributor Corp. (KIDC) was established, marking the debut of the Primer Group in the footwear industry.
o 1994: Primer International Holdings and Management Inc. (PIHMI) was established as a holdings company of the group.
o 1996: Primer Printing Services Inc. (PPSI) was established as a textile printing company.
o 1997: Union Inks and Graphic Philippines Inc. (UIGPI) was established, venturing into the production of silkscreen and plastisol inks.
o 1997: The year the first Bratpack store, a unique lifestyle concept store for the young, hip and bold generation of today, was launched.
o 1998: The Primer Group’s second footwear company, PhilGear International Inc. (PGII), was established.
o 1998: Stellar Equipment and Machinery, Inc. (SEMI) was established to formalize the company’s venture in the air-conditioning business.
o 2003: UIGPI became ISO 9001-2000 Certified.
o 2003: Aircond. Network Philippines (ANPI) was established as an aircon service provider.
o 2005: Full scale creatives and services company Brushstroke Creatives was established.
o 2005: Primer became a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines program, with then Executive Director, now President and CEO Jimmy Thai as “Entrepreneur of the Year 2005”
o 2006: Primer International Management Limited (PIML) was established to handle brand distributorship covering multi-territories in Southeast and Far East Asia.
o 2006: The Primer Group launched its first fully-owned brand of luggage – World Traveller.
o 2007: The Primer Group obtained multi-site ISO certification.
o 2007: Primer Resources Corp. became the Regional Operating Headquarters.
o 2007: Res|Toe|Run opened with an innovative store concept.
o 2007: The Travel Club earned the Hall of Fame distinction of the Outstanding Filipino Retailer award.
o 2007: The first Recreational Outdoor Exchange (R.O.X.) store was launched at Bonifacio High Street as the largest outdoor superstore in Southeast Asia.
o 2008: The Primer Group moved its headquarters to Primer Star Center in Malate, Manila.
o 2009: The Primer Group bagged an unprecedented 12 Marketing Excellence awards in the 2009 Ayala Merchant Awards.
o 2010: The Primer Group received the Gold Award for Travel Journalism in the travel guidebook category from Pacific Asia Travel Association
o 2010: The Primer Group launched its newest addition to its roster of concept stores; LadyBag is a specialty store for the ladies’ discerning taste in bags.
o 2010: Under the Primer Group of Companies, the first FitFlop store in the world opened in Mall of Asia.
o 2010: The Primer Group’s PIML (Primer International Management Ltd.) receives the Distributor of the Year Award from Sanuk U.S.A.
o 2011: The Primer Group becomes the most-awarded in the 13th Ayala Merchant Awards, bringing home a total of 11 awards including Store of the Year for The Travel Club Trinoma and a special award for Sanuk for promoting Philippine Culture and Arts.
o 2012: Flight 001 touched down in the Philippines.
o 2013: Through its corporate social responsibility arm, Primer Group received its first Philippine Quill Awards (Communication Management Merit awards) for its Employee Engagement program entry ‘Building a Responsible Community, Igniting Change and Awareness’. Primer Group’s own publication, Dispatch Magazine, also bagged the Excellence Award for the Communication Skills category.
o 2014: President and CEO Jimmy Thai received the Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award in the Large Scale category during the 35th Agora Awards for Excellence in Marketing.
o 2014: Marking its first store in Asia, Fox opened its first store in the Philippines under Primer Group.
o 2015: Interior design solutions hub Designery opened in Ortigas, Pasig City.
o 2015: Originally Saujana Premiere in Cavite, The Park (formerly Primer Management Conference) was acquired by Primer Group and transformed to a resort for company events and seminars.
o 2016: An overwhelming 24 awards was received by Primer Group stores in the 2015 Ayala Merchant Awards.
o 2017: Brushstroke Creatives opened its first ever store and showroom at the SM Mall of Asia.
o 2017: UIGPI obtained ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System Standard, confirming UIGPI as the first and only company certified for silk-screen manufacturing with digital printing and cutting services.
o 2018: Academy for Professional Excellence received accreditation from the Professional Regulation Commission as a Continuing Professional Development Provider.
o 2018: Primer Group enables cashless payments in its stores through partnerships with mobile payment options WeChat Pay, GCash and Paymaya.
o 2018: Travelon opened in the Philippines its first global store under the Primer Group of Companies.
o 2018: Primer Group partnered with e-commerce service provider giant Buy Quickly to strengthen its e-commerce venture.