Bangkok to get 14 new malls as Thailand gets the shopping bug

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An artist’s impression of CentralPlaza Nakhon Ratchasima, one of the three new shopping complexes being launched by Central Group this year.

Bangkok to get 14 new malls as Thailand gets the shopping bug

Retail space, in particular shopping malls, will continue to grow this year, with health, beauty and pharmacy stores becoming the new retail battlefield.

Fourteen retail projects will open in Bangkok and its suburbs this year, adding a total of 272,800sqm of space, said Mr Surachet Kongcheep, associate director of Colliers International Thailand. Of the total, five are shopping malls totalling about 178,640sqm, seven community malls totalling 51,850sqm, one department store of 36,000sqm, and one retail plaza with 6,310sqm in an office building.

As of Nov 30, last year, total retail space nationwide was 18 million sqm from 91 shopping projects, according to the Thai Shopping Centre Association (TSCA).

Colliers said the seven community malls due to open in Bangkok this year are We Retail Nana with 2,100sqm on Sukhumvit Road, ZY Walk Chula Soi 5 (4,500sqm) on Banthadthong Road, Happy Avenue Don Muang (4,053sqm) on Songprapa Road, Canapaya (17,094sqm) on Rama III Road, Landmark Mahachai (5,000sqm) on Rama II Road, Muang Thong City Park (phase 1, 17,000sqm) on Chaeng Watthana Road, and Hyde Sukhumvit (2,100sqm) on Sukhumvit Road. Fewer community malls are opening this year compared to the past few years, following the lacklustre performance of some community malls in the past one to two years.

The five shopping complexes to open are Iconsiam, a luxury retail project developed by a joint venture between Siam Piwat Co, the operator of Siam Center and Siam Discovery, and Magnolia Quality Development Corp, the real estate developer under Charoen Pokphand Group, on Charoen Nakhon Road with 51,500sqm, Show DC on Rama IX Road, Ikea@CentralWestgate in Nonthaburi’s Bang Yai district, Gaysorn II near Ratchaprasong intersection with 6,000sqm and G Tower with 7,140sqm on Ratchadaphisek Road. Meanwhile, one department store to be opened this year is Iconsiam with 36,000sqm. Pearl Bangkok is a retail plaza on Phahon Yothin Road with 6,311sqm.

Outside of Bangkok, several retail projects are set to open upcountry this year. Central Pattana Plc plans to open at least three shopping complexes with one each in Samut Sakhon’s Maha Chai district, Nakhon Ratchasima and Phuket. Robinson Department Store Plc plans to develop three new branches this year. Two are lifestyle shopping complexes in Phetchaburi and Kamphaeng Phet provinces, and the location of the third has not been disclosed.

TSCA president Wallaya Chirathivat said new investment in shopping malls during 2016-17 has declined to 70 billion baht (S$2.83 billion), down from 100 billion over the past four to five years. Retail investment slowed due to economic slowdown at home and abroad.

Mr Chatrchai Tuongrattanaphan, adviser to the Thai Retailers Association, said he believes consumer purchasing power will gradually improve this year.

“The health and beauty sector will be the new retail battlefield this year because Thailand is gearing towards an ageing society, and when people earn more, demand for health and beauty products also rises,” he said.

The local health and beauty business in 2016 is expected to be valued over 280 billion baht. Health and beauty store chains are Boots, Watsons, Tsuruha, Pure and Matsumoto Kiyoshi.

Siam Makro Plc, the operator of Makro cash-and-carry stores under CP Group, will slow the opening of new stores in Thailand and shift focus to nearby countries instead. Siam Makro recently set up a subsidiary, Makro Ros, to operate its cash-and-carry store operations in Cambodia. The opening of Makro stores in Cambodia will be under a joint venture with a local partner.

Domestically, Siam Makro will focus on opening Makro Food Service stores to cash in on the continuing growth of the hotel, restaurant and catering business.

Meanwhile CP All Plc, the operator of 7-Eleven convenience stores, is expected to open some 700 new stores this year, on a par with last year. Mr Chatrchai said he expects Thailand’s retail market — currently worth 3.4 trillion baht — to grow by 3 per cent last year, and growth in 2017 will probably be higher.

Source: Bangkok Post

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