Thai department store chain Robinson says it will open outlets in planned special economic zones to encourage cross-border trading.
The Central Retail Corporation subsidiary says it will open a new Lifestyle Centre at Mae Sot in the Tak province, on the border with Myanmar. It follows a similar store which opened in Mukdahan, on the border with Laos, last year.
“These stores are being built to take greater advantage of cross-border trade,” CRC international business director, and Robinson president Alan Thomson said in an interview published in The Nation.
“SEZ projects are good initiatives but will take time to develop and for us to realise any opportunities,” he said.
CRC operates 42 department stores in Thailand; and two more in Vietnam – one in each of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi – which trade under the Robins brand name. Its 15 Lifestyle Centres are additional to those.
In the interview, Thomson talks about the company’s performance in Vietnam to date, its plan to add a well known US apparel brand to its store-in-store brand portfolio next year and how the company is coping with the stagnant Thai economy.