To cash in on the fast rebound of the local retail market, Central Retail Corporation (CRC), Thailand’s largest retail conglomerate, will next month hold the official launch of its first premium Bt10 billion multipurpose complex, on the prime plot of land previously occupied by the British Embassy.
Named Central Embassy, the complex is aimed at shaking up the premium retail landscape in downtown Bangkok, including those in the Ratchaprasong shopping district.
CRC chief executive officer Tos Chirathivat said the company would announce details on the Central Embassy project to local media on February 9, while the grand launch of the multipurpose retail complex would be made the following day.
The design work of the Central Embassy complex has been comฌpleted and the stonelaying ceremony was conducted on January 18.
A combination of cutting edge design technologies and flowing contours define a 37 floor building comprising an eight storey retail podium, verdant sky terraces and a six star hotel tower that come together in a blend of originality and integrity, the company says.
The construction of the luxury multipurpose complex, including the retail podium and hotel tower, will start in the second quarter of this year and be completed by 2013.
“We have seen better retail performance so far this year, with 10 percent year on year growth posted in January,” Tos said.
Piyawan Leelasompop, vice president of Central Department Store, the department store unit of CRC, said that CDS, together with its other retail business units, including Supersports, Power Buy and B2S, achieved 5 per cent sales growth to Bt48 billion last year.
“We have seen better spending power of local shoppers with average ticket value increased by 7 per cent in the last month of 2010,” Piyawan said.
CDS expects its overall sales, together with CRC’s other store units, to reach Bt13 billion in the first quarter this year, Piyawan said. Central Department Store alone expects to achieve sales of Bt7.5 billion in the quarter.
Piyawan said CentralPlaza Lat Prao would be temporarily closed from February 14 for a major renovation, which would take about six months. The 30yearold shopping complex will be reopened in July, while the Central Department Store at CentralPlaza Lat Prao will be officially opened in September.
Nattakit Tangpoonsinthana, executive vice president of marketing for Central Pattana (CPN), a leading shoppingmall developer and operator of CentralWorld shopping complex, said the company expected overall shopper traffic at its malls to increase significantly by between 7 and 8 per cent this quarter.
“We have seen better economic and political situations. The political atmosphere has improved significantly, as all political rallies have been well managed. Every stakeholder in the political sector, both anti and progovernment protesters, have tried to make compromises and conduct their rallies in a more discipline manner,” Nattakit said.
He said CPN had committed to an investment plan to develop three major shopping complexes in Chiang Rai, Phitsanulok, and Rama IX Road in Bangkok this year.
The companies yesterday launched their first synergy campaign, “The Amazing Chinese New Year 2011”, with a budget of more than Bt160 million, aimed at increasing shopper traffic by 2025 per cent during the auspicious Lunar New Year festival. The campaign is expected to generate Bt2 billion in overall sales.