Central earmarks B1bn to renovate
Budget allocated to upgrade department stores
Central Department Store Co plans to allocate over 1 billion baht to open and renovate department stores under two brands, Central and Robinson, keen to capitalise on improving retail shopping sentiment this month.
Rvisra Chirathivat, the company's customer director, said Central Department Store plans to renovate seven branches this year.
Of the total, five are in Bangkok, comprising Chidlom, Lat Phrao, Rama II, Rama III and Megabangna. One is in Pattaya and another is in Udon Thani.
Wuttikiat Techamongklapiwat, property president at Central Retail Corporation, said the company detected a number of positive signs in the retail industry, such as a better domestic consumption and increasing government spending.
As a result, the company plans to open the 34,000-square-metre Robinson Lifestyle Banchang, adjacent to Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, which is the largest estate in Rayong close to U-tapao airport.
A new Robinson department store is also planned for Ayutthaya this October.
In addition to the new projects, Ms Rvisra said the company plans to renovate existing Robinson department stores in Rangsit, Ubon Ratchathani, Srisaman, Khon Kaen, Chachoengsao and Sri Racha this year.
Central expects to finish all renovations by the end of this year.
"January and February were a tough time for retail business. But now shopping sentiment is better, as indicated by improved returns on investment for the campaigns we launched," she said.
"Traffic in each store increased, particularly for sales of young fashion items and accessories, as well as jeans."
The beginning of the mass vaccination programme has improved shopping sentiment for the remaining nine months, said Ms Rvisra.
To stimulate expenditure, the company allocated 100 million baht for a campaign called Central Midnight Sale that runs until April 6 at 24 department stores and omni-channel platforms.
She said Central tries to develop new and modern strategies to tap rising demand derived from changes in consumer behaviour, offering omni-promotions and experiences.
For instance, the company just launched the Midnight Market campaign at Central Chidlom, Lat Phrao, Central@CentralWorld, Pinklao, Bangna, EastVille and WestGate. It is a midnight sales event.
"We expect good consumer feedback, similar to previous Midnight Sale campaigns, which increased traffic by 23%, sales by 50%, and transactions by 28% from non-promotional periods," said Ms Rvisra.
The company expects to secure sales of 1 billion baht from this campaign.
She said sales of Central and Robinson department stores in 2021 are projected to reach 62 billion baht, the same as the pre-crisis level.