Central earmarks B10bn for revamp

Central earmarks B10bn for revamp

Natira Chirathivat Boonsri, president of Central Department Store, announces the renaming of Zen@CentralWorld to Central@CentralWorld.
Natira Chirathivat Boonsri, president of Central Department Store, announces the renaming of Zen@CentralWorld to Central@CentralWorld.

Central Department Store Co plans to splurge at least 10 billion baht between 2020 and 2024 to renovate 20 stores into a "lifestyle" concept as it copes with changing consumer behaviour driven by disruptive technology.

Natira Chirathivat Boonsri, the company's president, said the company will budget 400 million to 2 billion baht per store, depending on the location, to redo 20 branches as lifestyle department stores.

The planned 10 billion baht excludes 1 billion baht the group has earmarked for a makeover of Zen@CentralWorld into a lifestyle department store. The rejig will serve as a prototype for the new concept.

Dubbed Zen for three decades, the name is changing to Central@CentralWorld as part of makeover efforts.

Three small stores, including Central Kad Suan Kaew in Chiang Mai, will see no changes.

Mrs Natira said the company will start by renovating three stores at Lat Phrao, Rama II and Chidlom next year, completing the work for 20 stores in 3-5 years.

She said the company expects the renovation of Central@CentralWorld to be complete in December.

Central@CentralWorld underwent the first renovation because of its strategic location and because it has the third-highest sales after the Chidlom and Lat Phrao branches.

The company hired famous designers from France, Italy, Germany and Thailand to design each floor of Central@CentralWorld to be different.

"After the makeover, people will visit Central@CentralWorld to hang out more than shop, spending 5-6 hours per day there, up from 2-3 hours previously," Mrs Natira said.

New products and services will be added to the reworked department store. Global brands such as Giorgio Armani and Chanel will be offered, as well as Host x Amber, an American-style coffee shop from Hong Kong.

Central will increase the proportion of food at the branch to 20% of total tenants, up from less than 5% over the last two years.

Street food that has been featured in the Michelin guide will also be available.

With the big overhaul, the company expects sales at Central@CentralWorld to increase by 20%.


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