SIAM PIWAT CO will invest more than Bt4 billion in its first overhaul of Siam Discovery, the company’s strategic shopping complex on Rama I Road, to respond to tougher competition in the Bangkok shopping-mall arena and a rebound in foreign-tourist arrivals.
This will be the first ever major facelift of the 18-year old shopping complex. The aim is to cash in on the potential growth in shopping and retail markets in Thailand following the implementation of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) at the end of this year, which is expected to attract higher numbers of foreign arrivals.
Siam Piwat is the owner and operator of leading retail complexes in downtown Bangkok, including Siam Paragon, Siam Center and Siam Discovery.
Siriphen Intuputi, senior executive for marketing and public relations, said the facelift of Siam Discovery complex would reflect Siam Piwat’s policy to become the icon of innovative lifestyles and to be the first shopping-mall operator to bring new innovations into the market in terms of retail technologies and tenant stores.
“We will give Siam Discovery a total renewal for both its interior and exterior incorporating a new, revolutionary retail concept, especially in its architecture and floor plan, interior design, product mix, and service. It will be a first-time phenomenon with a number of original ideas never seen before in Thailand, further strengthening Siam Discovery’s position as a world-class shopping destination in downtown Bangkok,” she said.
During the overhaul, Siam Discovery, which has total retail space of about 40,000 square metres and 120 retail tenants, will be closed for six months, as the construction work will start in May.
The mall will be opened again early next year.
Siriphen said that based on a report released recently by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the number of tourists arriving in Bangkok reached 2.65 million in January alone, up 16.3 per cent compared with the same month of 2014.
“The number of foreign shoppers at Siam Discovery has also increased in line with the figure reported by TAT. The proportion of foreign visitors at our shopping complex surged significantly, from 30 per cent to 40 per cent, while 60 per cent of overall visitors are still Thai shoppers,” she said. The total traffic at Siam Discovery had increased from 80,000 people a day on average last year to about 100,000 by the beginning of this year, with as many as 120,000-150,000 people during some campaigns and festive events.
Siam Piwat posted Bt30 billion in total revenue last year. The company expects its revenue to increase by 20 per cent this year.
Siriphen said the success of the company’s renovation of its Siam Center shopping complex two years ago, which received a good response from retail tenants and shoppers, gave the management and staff of Siam Piwat a greater confidence in its approach to maintaining a leading position in introducing innovations to Thailand’s retail industry.
“Siam Discovery has been in operation for more than 18 years, so we decided to give it a total renewal in order to bring new experiences of the era to Thai and international shoppers,” she said.
“Thailand has strong potential to be a tourism and transport hub of the AEC thanks to the country’s strong geographical location as the centre of the region. We [Thailand] also have quality human resources, technological advances and readiness to become an ideal venue for international conferences and exhibitions as well as a distribution centre and medical hub.
“Thailand is also outstanding in tourism. We believe that after the AEC takes effect, Thailand’s retail industry will enjoy annual growth by 25 per cent, driven by a lot of new investments made by local retail players in anticipation of future economic growth,” Siriphen said.
Siam Piwat has partnered with more than 100 branded stores under the “Groundbreaking Sale” campaign at Siam Discovery, offering discounts of up to 90 per cent in clearance sales. The campaign will be held from April 23 to May 5 before the shopping complex is scheduled to close on May 6.