Premium notebooks of various designs and types, high-quality pens, and other writing implements and supplies are now available in Cebu with the opening of the Itoya corner in the National Bookstore branch in Ayala Center Cebu.
Officials of Itoya and National Bookstore led the opening of the store earlier today, June 10.
“We feel truly honored that an iconic brand such as Itoya has partnered with us. We are excited to showcase their carefully curated merchandise with high quality craftsmanship that is sure to rev up the school and work spaces of our customers, especially here in Cebu,” said National Book Store managing director Xandra Ramos-Padilla in a press statement.
Itoya, which is located in the Ginza district, is listed among the must-visit stores in Japan by travel guides, including the Lonely Planet.
“The concept of Itoya products revolves around excellent design, impeccable material, and multi-functionality. Majority of Itoya products are developed in Japan and pass strict quality control to ensure that the design and style meet world-class standards,” National Bookstore said in a statement.
Itoya senior vice president Isamu Suzuki said during the launch that the company has been making premium stationery and writing products for close to 112 years. He said they were the first company in Japan to use the English word “stationery.”
Today, however, Suzuki said the company has become a “premium gift shop” that carries a varied line of products, including:
This is a collection line of ballpoint pens and accessories, mechanical pencils, notebooks, leather jacket for journals, pouches, binders and office supplies and accessories. They come in various matching colors, hence the name, ranging from: Magenta Pink, Sunset Orange, Pear Green, Sky Blue, Navy Blue, and Earth Brown.
This product line traces its origin to the first fountain pen made by Itoya more than 100 years ago. Suzuki said in an interview that the name comes from the character of the universal love story that has had many a would-be Romeo penning love notes to their Juliets.
The company said the Romeo brand was re-launched in 2004 for use of the modern businessmen. It is 100% man-made and uses only premium materials. The Romeo collection also includes pad bands with pen holders, file binders, notebooks, and pencils, and leather products such as wallets, card cases, memo pads, ID holders, and pen cases.
This latest brand “offers the ultimate tools for those who are always on-the-move.”
“The pens are reminiscent of maritime flags that are perfectly paired with the incensed cedar used in the barrel. The collection also includes the “on-the-go” and “street” journals which feature attractive patterns and are light in weight,” the company said.
This line, which features simple designs, is named after the typeface.
“Itoya’s Helvetica products similarly bring in simple and timeless designs while maintaining its smart functionality,” the company said. The Helvetica collection includes ballpoint pens, mechanical pencils, pencil extenders, pen cases, multi-functional pens, clipboards, and dual ring binders.
Itoya’s products were first made available in the Philippines in October 2015. National Book Store Senior Brand Manager Arlene Thay said the brand was doing well among a wide range of Filipino consumers. She said it did well heading to the Christmas seasons when many bought items like the Romeo pens as gifts to bosses or spouses and other special people.
Thay said Itoya was particularly strong among “working executives.”
The Itoya branch in Ayala Center Cebu Cebu is the first outside Manila. Itoya products are currently available in the National Book Store branches in Power Plant Mall, Shangri-la Plaza Mall, SM Aura Premier, and Powerbooks, Greenbelt 4, and will be available this June in Alabang Town Center and Glorietta 1.
More photos of Itoya items: