Central stores allotted B15bn for facelift
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Central stores allotted B15bn for facelift

Mr Bron announces the firm's five-year strategy at a press conference.
Mr Bron announces the firm's five-year strategy at a press conference.

Central Department Store Co under Central Retail Corporation (CRC), the SET-listed retail arm of Central Group, looks set to spend 15 billion baht to expand its retail business during 2023-2027.

According to Olivier Bron, the company's chief executive, 80% of the investment will be allocated to major renovations of its existing Central department stores at Chidlom, Megabangna and Ram Intra; Robinson Department Store Fashion Island; minor renovations of 14 other Central and Robinson department stores; and two new department stores to be opened in Bangkok and provincial areas.

The remaining 20% of the investment is allotted for IT development and upgrades.

Under its investment plan, the company expects its sales to grow by 1.7 times over the next five years.

The company also unveiled a 500-million-baht campaign to mark its 75th anniversary, featuring what it dubbed "a festival of happiness".

The "ALL AT CENTRAL" campaign offers exclusive promotions, aiming to drive foot traffic to stores to ignite a 25% increase in sales.

Tos Chirathivat, Central Group's Chief Executive.

"From the very first day, Central has never stopped innovating and exploring new ways to create the best shopping experience for our customers. Under our vision to be 'the department store for all Thais', we aim to be the ultimate destination for an authentic and sustainable 'Thai House of Brands' where customers can find the best of Thai and international fashion and home products," said Mr Bron.

A full 75 years after Tiang and Samrit Chirathivat opened their first bookstore, the department store business of Central Group has become a leader internationally in the luxury segment, he said.

"Our department store business has the world's largest international network, spanning across 11 countries, 80 cities and 120 locations. Total department store sales will reach €6.7 billion (260 billion baht) this year," said Tos Chirathivat, executive chairman and chief executive of Central Group.

"The addition of Selfridges Group to our department store luxury collection has made Central Group a global leader in luxury retail, with the highest number of international luxury flagship locations in the world's top destinations. We also have a thriving international luxury e-commerce platform. Above all, we are the proud owner of 19 crown jewel properties, mostly situated for over a century in coveted areas at the heart of major European cities such as London, Zurich, Rome, Copenhagen, Dublin and Vienna."

The company built the first department store in Thailand, some of the region's best-known department stores, as well as Thailand's first one-stop multi-purpose shopping complex.

Central's first foray into Europe began in 2011 with the acquisition of Rinascente, an Italian luxury department store, followed by Illum in 2013, KaDeWe in 2015, Globus in 2020, and finally Selfridges Group earlier this year.

"Luxury has been Central Group's key growth pillar since the acquisition of Rinascente. During the same period, European luxury brands have consistently outperformed the market, driven by the global tourism boom. The luxury industry was among the fastest to rebound from the economic crisis, reflecting resilient demand," said Mr Tos.

"Over the past decade, Central has cultivated trust and strong partnerships with all major luxury brands who co-invested with us in transforming stores into iconic retail destinations, beloved by locals and tourists.

"On aggregate, Central Group's European stores welcome more than 130 million visitors and over 200 nationalities each year, and have more than 6 million loyalty members today. This is a true testament to the success of the company's luxury business."

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