• “Retailing is no longer about retailing, but about providing variety of experience and an arena where people can be inspired, excited, and entertained.” – Chadatip Chutrakul
• Bht 1,800 million investment by Siam Piwat and 200 brand owners in biggest collaborative initiative in retail development ever undertaken in Thailand
• Readies to open January 11, 2013 with pioneering new retail concept
• To strengthen Bangkok as top global shopping destination
Bangkok (27 November 2012) – Siam Piwat, the owner and operator of Siam Paragon, Siam Center, Siam Discovery and Paradise Park, today, unveiled sweeping plans of its total rejuvenation of Siam Center and the introduction of a revolutionary new retail concept that promises to put Bangkok among the ranks of the world’s most innovative shopping destinations when it opens on January 11th, 2013.
The new Siam Center is being filled with stores where brand owners and retailers have joined forces to create new prototype store designs consistent with an overall Siam Center concept, including those of the biggest of big-name international and local brands in fashion as well as in food and beverages. In addition, most stores also carry special product selections that are unique and only available at Siam Center, including the provision of innovative and exclusive offerings extending to special menus in food and beverage outlets, too.
Mrs. Chadatip Chutrakul, CEO of Siam Piwat Co., Ltd., the owner and operator of Siam Center, said, “It’s a total physical and conceptual rebuild.”
“Right here in Thailand, we are pioneering a revolutionary new retail development concept where the developer works collaboratively with retailers and brand owners to give the entire venue a consistent visual identity as well as a consistent promise to the visitor: that, no matter which store one visits, or whichever restaurant one patronizes, one will meet with unexpected products and services, and which will be unlike anything available at any other venue. It will be what makes Siam Center special and it’s what we call ‘Absolute Siam DNA’. It’s a concept that will elevate Bangkok to be among the world’s top retail environments.
“In fact, we are no longer a shopping centre. We’re creating an ‘ideaopolis’ – a place where great new ideas are presented, where art, fashion, technology, lifestyle and entertainment converge to create the unexpected and an inspiring experience for every visitor, and at every visit,” she said.
“Brand owners and retailers have agreed to conceive their store design to reflect an overall theme that is clearly and distinctly Siam Center and to create a new prototype store never before seen. Next to that, brand owners have also agreed to offer around 20% of their collection – ranging from fashion to stationary, and home decoration items – will be absolutely unique and only available at their Siam Center shops. Some will offer personalized services not found anywhere else in Asia.
“Big, fast-forward international brands have also agreed to present their latest new-arrival collections in Siam Center before they are presented at any other branch. Even restaurants and cafés will have special menus that will be available exclusively at Siam Center,” Mrs. Chadatip said.
“During the last 18 months we have been working in detail with shop designers from abroad, as well as both local and international brand owners, to develop new
product lines. We challenged each brand to rediscover themselves with us, to be daring, and to explore and tap into rich, new potential for their own brands through new ideas, new line extensions, signature labels, and innovative product variations. For example, stores that have traditionally only made available fashion goods will begin offering home decoration goods and stationary as part of their product offerings. There will also be designer labelled beverages and bakery items. The outcomes have been phenomenal and we will be revealing them soon,” she said.
Mrs. Chadatip said that retailers have executed special visual merchandising design to make all their displays totally original. Also, Siam Center is offering visual merchandising display consulting team to support in the decoration of store fronts in a way that is consistent with Siam Center’s concept and marketing activities.
“Additionally, we are working closely with famous international and Thai artists to make Siam Center a platform where they may share and exchange ideas and inspirations, as well as facilitating the appreciation of their art through regular exhibitions and other events,” she said.
“We are collaboratively creating a unique ‘Absolute Siam’ experience at every possible level. Retailers are all very excited and their feedback has been beyond our expectations. Many have commented that this was the most powerful phenomenon in the retail industry that they had seen, and that it was something which has never been done anywhere else,” Mrs. Chadatip said.
“We’re creating the new Siam Center through this novel, collaborative effort and jointly investing more than Bht 1,800 million. Over 200 shops are working with us to create these totally new experiences for visitors. Their decision to work together with Siam Piwat to build prototype stores for Siam Center required from them significant additional investment in design, construction, and management time. But, because of that, we will be providing visitors hundreds of new experiences from all the individual stores that are quite unlike any of their sister stores around the city. This is the biggest collaboration ever undertaken by retailers and brand owners in Thailand,” she said.
“This is a completely revolutionary approach in global retail development, and it is about bringing the unexpected back, and of making a visit to Siam Center amazing and inspiring, where visitors will feel they are coming to a new venue every time.
“Siam Piwat is the pioneer of retail development in Thailand, and we intend to keep re-defining and pushing the boundaries in taking retailing and retail development to new places in the future. When the first Siam Center opened its doors, forty years ago, and became the first modern shopping centre in Thailand, it was nothing like anything that had come before it. The new Siam Center we are building, and the new retailing concept that we are pioneering in Thailand is also nothing like anything that has come before it,” she said.
Siam Piwat is more than a developer
Mrs. Chadatip said, “Siam Piwat is going beyond being a retail developer and it is now pioneering a new approach to working in-depth from unique store design to product development with brand owners and tenants. It is helping to provide an integrated marketing approach in a fast-changing retail environment that can help promote the success of tenants.”
“This ability to explore new territory is the company’s unique expertise. The company has been the icon of innovative concepts and it is evident in each of our projects, setting us apart from other retail developers. Siam Piwat has an outstanding ability to integrate its uniquely crafted design theme into retailers’ store concepts together with the offer of a surprising merchandise mix in each of our venues,” she said.
As for the latest design concept at Siam Center, Mrs. Chadatip said that the SoHo district of New York was one of many inspirations behind what Siam Center is about to offer.
“In SoHo New York, you see a timeless and invigorating mix of art, fashion and technology presented in a way that matches the unique character of the district. It is, perhaps, the only place in the world where stores have designed their shop to suit the
distinct style of the district. They have adapted themselves to fit the unique character of their environment while still preserving all that makes their brand special and their particular equities unique. And, for the first time, at Siam Center, all of this is now being done under one roof,” she said.
She described the design theme of the new Siam Center as “twisted – combining industrial chic with the ultra-modern, creating contrasts and surprises, playing with dark and light, as well as being experimental and surprising. Even the lighting, which in other venues tends to be generally very neutral, has been specially designed and purpose-built as an art piece for its own particular space in the building.”
“Technology plays a vital role in delivering the Siam Center promise to the visitor and is inseparably integrated with what the venue has to offer. Technology floods the environment. Floors, ceilings and walls are alive with movement, scenery and interactive displays that help visitors better connect with what they will find inside Siam Center as well as with other visitors. We put a lot of emphasis on connecting and interacting with visitors through technology, investing over Bht 70 million and installing more than 500 LED screens. There will be no more posters or billboards, but interactive digital walls and surfaces as well as ‘digital stylists’ and even ‘digital closets’ from where people can do ‘digital fittings’ for clothing to see how a particular garment might look on them without having to physically wear it. They will be able to get personalized top tips, know the hot items to see and experience, and be guided to the top ideas and to new collections,” Mrs. Chadatip added.
A passionate, loyal, trend-savvy customer base
“Siam Center has always been the center for trends, where visitors both local and tourists from around the world who sought products with extraordinary design come to shop. Our loyal customers are aware of global trends, and are trend setters themselves. They are people who appreciate art and, at the same time, are very techno-savvy. They are self-confident and can create their own stylish fashion and exciting lifestyle. They are bearers of the Absolute Siam DNA. Everything we are creating in Siam Center is tailor-made for them,” she noted.
Headed to the forefront of the world’s retail industry
“I passionately want to see Thailand at the forefront of global retailing, which is why Siam Center will be among the first in the world to adopt these most progressive ideas that are shaping retail development design in the world,” she said.
“In Thailand, we are the first in retail development to reach out and work collaboratively with the best of both local and international talent to help develop the finest of offerings, whether they be product lines that are exclusive to our location, premiums, or technological content and software, and which are consistent with Siam Center’s own unique identity,” she said.
“You often hear in Thailand of a desire to make Bangkok a shopping capital like New York, London, or Hong Kong. Now we can proudly say that other countries will be looking at Bangkok to see what a progressive shopping capital should be like,” Mrs. Chadatip said.
Siam Center has a gross floor area of 40,000 square metres, with 250 metres of street frontage. It is located at the crossover station between the city’s two major overhead mass transit rail system routes. It is also at the heart of Bangkok’s retail zone with visitor traffic of around 150,000 people a day, of which approximately 60% are local residents and 40% tourists.
Siam Center has an iconic place in Thailand’s retail environment, with a worldwide fan-club built over four decades of repeat visits. The passionate loyalty of its visitors pushed visitor numbers up to 350,000 people a day during the final weeks before its closure for rebuilding.
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