Takashimaya makes splash at Iconsiam
Despite the spirited competition among Thailand's department stores, Japan's Takashimaya says it's not planning to compete on price, but instead will focus on product quality and services.
President Shigeru Kimoto is in Bangkok to preside over the opening of Takashimaya's fourth overseas store at Iconsiam today. Previous outlets outside Japan are in Singapore, China and Vietnam, bringing Takashimaya's total to 21.
"The new flagship store at Iconsiam emulates the success the company has achieved in Singapore and Vietnam," Mr Kimoto said. "Iconsiam has unique elements that will support our goal to be our next success story, much in the same way as our 25-year-old Singapore establishment."
He attributed the company's expansion into Thailand to a growing economy and increasing numbers of international tourist arrivals.
Moreover, Thailand boasts a large number of middle-income earners living in Bangkok.
According to Mr Kimoto, Iconsiam's location in Thon Buri is not considered a disadvantage, as Iconsiam offers unique elements and world-class status to serve as a shopper magnet.
The 2.2-billion-baht flagship store of Takashimaya is run by Siam Takashimaya, a joint venture of Takashimaya Singapore (51%) and Siam River Holdings, a subsidiary of Iconsiam (49%).
Siam Takashimaya has a gross retail area of 36,000 square metres, ranking second largest in Southeast Asia after the Singapore store.
There are six floors at Siam Takashimaya with over 530 brands, 170 of which are Japanese. Some 80 brands are newcomers to Thailand.
The offerings include Taka Marche, a premium supermarket featuring Japanese imports, and Rose Food Avenue, a Japanese-themed food court with 17 concepts ranging from sushi and ramen to grilled eel.
Some of the brands being offered are Acseine, Dear Mayuko, Kotoshina and Organika Riviere cafe.
The company plans to record sales of 3.8 billion baht in the first year and break even in the second year.
Thirty million customers are expected to visit each year.