Retail outlets adjust holiday season plans

Retail outlets adjust holiday season plans

Black attire dominates store displays in Thailand. Retailers are changing marketing plans during the mourning period for His Majesty the King. WALAILAK KEERATIPIPATPONG
Black attire dominates store displays in Thailand. Retailers are changing marketing plans during the mourning period for His Majesty the King. WALAILAK KEERATIPIPATPONG

Leading retail operators and fashion distribution companies are reviewing their business strategies for the upcoming holiday season because they are not confident in local consumption following the passing of His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Major celebrations and entertainment events including New Year's Countdown, motor shows and others have all been postponed or cancelled from now until the end of the year.

Several marketing events and activities at shopping malls have also been put on hold while others were cancelled. Colourful decorations have further been taken down from shopping complexes.

But retailers are adjusting their offerings to respond to customer demand, including items such as black attire to observe the period of national mourning.

Preecha Limoau, general manager of The Mall Korat, said the company has slashed its marketing budget on key activities during the upcoming festive season as it has cancelled more than 10 entertainment events from now until year-end.

According to a market survey, customer traffic at leading shopping complexes remains the same, with people using their disposable income to purchase items used to mourn the loss of His Majesty the King.

Apart from black fashion apparel, popular items on their shopping lists include artificial flowers, vases, books and stationery.

A source at Central Department Store (CDS) said it has cancelled several events for the last two months of this year, including its 69th anniversary celebration (set for Oct 27), and Central Let's Cerebrate 2017 (which was slated to run from November until early next year).

It has also postponed the launch of its new gadget zone at Central Chidlom as well as the introduction of two new imported fashion brands.

But CDS has made it easier for customers to buy black attire by arranging a special zone for multi-brand fashion apparel at all 21 Central department stores across the country.

Meanwhile, Salinla Seehaphan, corporate affairs director at Tesco Lotus, said the company has increased its inventory of black and white clothes to serve rising demand.

"We have increased our clothing inventory by 3-5 times, with our stores receiving new stocks of black and white shirts every day to serve demand nationwide," she said.

Plain black and white T-shirts are priced at 89 baht, while polo-style shirts are priced at 179 baht.

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