Thanulux looks beyond garment trade
Thanulux Plc, a garment arm under Saha Group, is transforming into a total fashion solution provider from a garment manufacturer to cope with rapid change in Thailand's fashion landscape and technological disruption.
Suchart Layluxsiri, the company's deputy managing director, told the Bangkok Post that Thailand's fashion landscape has changed the last few years, with many international fast-fashion brands from Europe and Asia entering the market.
Digital technology has also resulted in drastic changes in consumer behaviour.
"Selling our products via traditional retail channels no longer works," Mr Suchart said. "We have to adjust, from producing our own and selling via traditional trade to providing total fashion solutions via the multi-platform channel."
Thanulux will no longer only produce fashion brands for Saha Group or outsider companies, importing brands to market on its own, he said.
The company started importing Olymp, the popular shirt brand from Germany, to sell in the Thai market to expand its customer base.
"Olymp is the first fashion brand Thanulux imported and sold here, starting last month," Mr Suchart said. "More brands will be added in the future, targeting new customer groups, particularly millennials."
With several decades of experience in the garment trade, the company has tried to expand its business via B2B, producing uniforms for organisations.
"We also try to develop products that are different from the rest of the market," Mr Suchart said.
Thanulux recently launched Arrow shirt products made of yarn from recycled plastic bottles.
"This shirt is not only pleasant to wear, but also helps preserve the environment," Mr Suchart said. "If consumer response is as good as expected, we will start producing environmentally friendly men's trousers and T-shirts in the future."
The company expects sales of 30 million baht from the Arrow collection.
Thanulux is also focusing on big data to increase its management efficiency. It will initially spend 20 million baht, excluding software, to adjust its supply chain and operations to become digitised, reaching all aspects of customer data.
Mr Suchart said the company is reconsidering the production process to cope with anticipated higher wages in Thailand.
"We are looking for partners in Myanmar, Vietnam or Indonesia to produce our apparel to tackle high wages in Thailand," he said. "The plan is expected to be finalised next year."
Thanulux posted sales of 1.7 billion baht in 2018 and expects flat figures this year because of the unfavourable economic environment and changing consumer behaviour. Some 70% of sales in 2018 were from the domestic market, with exports making up the rest.
"Export business is not good because of the strong baht," Mr Suchart said. "Therefore we will shift our focus to the domestic market this year."