CRC splashes out B100bn for strategic expansion

CRC splashes out B100bn for strategic expansion

Mr Yol says CRC plans to invest 100 billion baht over the next five years. Pitsinee Jitpleecheep
Mr Yol says CRC plans to invest 100 billion baht over the next five years. Pitsinee Jitpleecheep

Central Retail Corporation (CRC), the SET-listed retail arm of Central Group, plans to splurge 100 billion baht to expand its business during 2022-2026, with an aim to increase its revenue by 2.5 times over last year.

Of the total budget, 70 billion baht is for opening new retail stores and renovating its existing stores, while 30 billion is for technology, IT, software and other efforts, according to Yol Phokasub, the company's chief executive.

Under the company's five-year strategic plan, CRC aims to drive its revenue growth by 2.5 times, increase earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) by 3.5 times and grow its market capitalisation by 2.5 times.

According to Mr Yol, the company will achieve its goal via four key strategies including reinventing "next-gen omni-retail" and elevating omni-channel platforms by merging physical and virtual worlds, as well as leveraging new digital technologies to deliver next-level shopping experiences across all business segments, including food, fashion, electrical appliances and home improvement products, property and new businesses across Thailand, Vietnam and Italy.

"Online is not going to kill physical stores, but rather they will complement each other," he said.

Sales via the omni-channel strategy contribute 20% of CRC's total revenue at present.

The company seeks to accelerate growth across its core businesses, both locally and globally, and capture new growth opportunities with world-class partners, said Mr Yol.

CRC wants to build new growth pillars, starting with the wellness segment and tapping other global trends and consumer needs, he said.

Expansion will include partnership, acquisition and spin-off strategies, said Mr Yol. CRC plans to spin off MEB Corporation Co Ltd, the leading e-book business operator, to be independent from COL Plc.

CRC reported revenue of 137 billion baht in the nine months to September 2021 and Ebitda of 12 billion baht, for an overall loss of 2.1 billion.

Of the total, 70% came from domestic business and the remainder is from abroad, including Vietnam and Italy. It has 69 malls and 3,600 locations with a total space of 3.3 million square metres.

He said the company is using data analysis to fulfil consumer needs, both in the physical and virtual world.

By offering products and services through hyper-personalised experiences, CRC leverages data to unlock customer insights to deliver real-time experiences, said Mr Yol.

"By delivering experiences that merge online and offline worlds via next-gen omni-retail, we aim to be the retailer that truly understands our customers, shaping the future of retail," he said.

"Three years ago, CRC set out to be the No.1 regional omni-channel retailer. Today, our retail strategy has proven a resounding success and we are pursuing a blueprint that prioritises the environment, society and good governance as the key cornerstones of operation. We are confident in our capabilities to achieve our growth targets for the next five years."

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