ECC plans two retail complexes in Thailand
Netherlands-based ECC International Real Estate, the operator of Promenada Resort Mall in Chiang Mai, will allocate several billion baht over the next five years to continue expanding its retail business in Thailand.
President and chief executive Tjeert Kwant said the company had adjusted its business strategy to focus on developing two new retail complexes in tourist destinations in Thailand, replacing a previous plan to develop retail projects in Vietnam and other Asean countries.
Kwant: Focus on lifestyle experience
"Thailand is the most interesting and modern retail market and a popular destination for foreign tourists," he said. "This is an opportunity to increase our investment in Thailand over the next five years."
The company has not finalised its new development plans and would not identify the locations of the two new shopping malls.
Meanwhile, with consumers less reliant on shopping malls as online retailers become increasingly popular, ECC plans to adjust the concept of Promenada Resort Mall to cope with this new reality, Mr Kwant said.
For 2016-17, the company will set aside 600 million baht to add new attractions and expand the lease area for the 65,000 square metre Promenada Resort Mall by 5,000-10,000 sq m.
"We will focus on creating Promenada as a lifestyle experience mall and a tourist destination to cash in on rapid changes in the retail business," said Mr Kwant.
In the Western retail market, around 20% of retail sales currently go to online shopping. This has had a big impact on retailers, with the trend set to spread to Asia and Thailand. As a result, ECC is focusing on aspects such as shopping experience, entertainment, fun and leisure for its customers.
The company has further joined hands with My Dino Company to invest over 175 million baht to create Dino World Chiang Mai, a 7,000 sq m attraction and education centre which will be located on the territory of Promenada Resort Mall.
Dino World Chiang Mai will feature over 100 life-size dinosaur exhibits in an environment set to imitate their one-time natural habitats, as well as an activity space and the first-ever multimedia learning centre on dinosaurs and fossils in the North.
The project is scheduled to officially open in the first quarter of 2017.
"People in Chiang Mai are very modern and price-conscious," Mr Kwant said.
"Besides shopping, they expect entertainment, fun and leisure. Each visit to a mall should be a celebration, particularly for the whole family. Kids are therefore the most important aspect of Promenada's strategy and concept."
The company is also set to launch its Lanna Live zone at the end of the year, offering products from over 200 factories in the North on a 2,000 sq m space along with a new-style food court.
Promenada Resort Mall was opened in Chiang Mai in 2013.