CRC expects 30% sales leap and strong growth to come

Sales of Central Retail Corporation (CRC), Thailand's leading retail operator, are set to rise by 30% to a record 150 billion baht this year.

An artist’s conception of La Rinascente Via del Tritone.

"All business units under CRC did very well this year thanks to people's higher incomes," said chief executive Tos Chirathivat.

He believes earnings will hit another high level in the next five years to stimulate the overall economy, while implementation of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2016 will be another key factor to drive growth.

With the advent of the AEC, Thailand and Indonesia will be closely watched by worldwide investors. Indonesia's economy is expected to be larger than that of Germany by 2030.

Mr Tos is confident that Thailand can become a strong economic hub with support from Vietnam and Myanmar.

He believes new investment funds will flow into Vietnam and Myanmar, and if Thailand takes its chance, its economy will leap ahead with more middle-income people.

CRC is opening stores in tourist destinations in international markets, says Mr Tos.

CRC spent 63 years building its sales to reach 90 billion baht but will take only three years from 2011 to double that figure, said Mr Tos.

Sales via its existing outlets, new businesses and businesses obtained via mergers and acquisitions have expanded strongly.

In Italy, the performance of La Rinascente Department Stores, which CRC took over last year, has performed healthily despite Europe's economic slowdown.

"The number of tourists visiting Europe remains strong, with a 30% rise this year," said Mr Tos.

"It is a business strategy for CRC to open our stores in tourist destinations in international markets, offering luxury items to foreign tourists."

CRC is to develop the largest La Rinascente store in Rome at a cost of 8 billion baht. The eight-storey store on Via del Tritone near the Spanish Steps is expected to open in mid-2015 with retail space of 17,000 square metres.

Rome, the capital and largest city of Italy, is a living museum of history, attracting more than 11 million tourists in 2010 and ranked third in terms of visitor numbers in Europe.

"La Rinascente Via del Tritone will welcome locals, tourists and leading fashionistas in Italy," said Mr Tos.

The store will stock leading luxury brands from every corner of the world.

"We expect our retail business in Europe to double within the next five years," Mr Tos added.

About the author

Writer: Pitsinee Jitpleecheep
Position: Business Reporter