Festive hype bears hope

Festive hype bears hope

Retailers wait for shopping recovery

Shoppers walk past a sign advertising sales in a Bangkok shopping mall. Retailers are ramping up campaigns for the festive season. (Photo by Jiraporn Kuhakan)
Shoppers walk past a sign advertising sales in a Bangkok shopping mall. Retailers are ramping up campaigns for the festive season. (Photo by Jiraporn Kuhakan)

Retailers are anticipating improved shopping sentiment during the festive season and are pouring money into marketing to stimulate purchases in 2019's final two months.

The Mall Group, Iconsiam and Future Park Rangsit are increasing their marketing budgets by at least 5% from the same period last year for the retail market's peak season.

Festive campaigns will start earlier than usual because the country's overall spending has not been as good as expected.

Voralak Tulaphorn, chief marketing officer of The Mall Group Co, said the strong baht has resulted in fewer foreign tourists and a surge of Thai outbound tourists.

"Retail sales reported a huge drop in July, August and September but recovered in October, thanks to the government's economic stimulus package and the launch of the iPhone 11," Ms Voralak said. The third phase of the Taste-Shop-Spend campaign will help spur shopping sentiment in the remainder of the year.

The Mall earmarked 350 million baht for "The Mall Group Joy of Giving", offering 60 special campaigns this festive season from Nov 14 to Jan 5. The campaign anticipates sales of 16.8 billion baht in the fourth quarter.

The Mall aims to match last year's revenue of 58 billion baht. Apart from slowing spending power, in particular among Chinese tourists, the company also closed down The Mall Ngam Wong Wan for almost a year for a facelift.

To ensure sustainable growth, the company will emphasise innovating malls and department stores to be one-stop shops for every consumer need. Digitalisation, collaboration and data analytics will be used to understand customers' needs.

"We will join forces with partners who have the same target customers to include new potential customer bases," Ms Voralak said. The Mall wants consumers to spend 100 minutes per visit at properties next year, up from 90 minutes.

Chadatip Chutrakul, director of Iconsiam, said the company is investing more than 300 million baht from November to December on 10 events and various marketing campaigns to promote shopping at the mall this festive season.

"I am still optimistic about the retail outlook in the remaining two months of this year," Mrs Chadatip said. "The upcoming spending stimulus package will definitely help boost overall consumers' spending power during the festive season."

Ratana Anantanupong, vice-president of marketing at Rangsit Plaza, the operator of Future Park Rangsit complex, said the company plans to spend 30 million baht to decorate the mall from Nov 15 to Jan 5.

The company is offering various privileges to customers during the festive season to encourage spending. The campaign is expected to drive customer traffic at its complex by 5% from 170,000 visitors.

"Shopping spending in the first nine months of this year was in a poor condition, particularly in beauty and fashion, but we've seen an improvement since last month and hope the increasing momentum will continue in the remaining two months, which are the peak season for annual sales," Mrs Ratana said.

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