CRC banking on health and wellness

CRC banking on health and wellness

Ms Monrudee, centre, says that the health and wellness market is expected to continue to grow following Covid-19.
Ms Monrudee, centre, says that the health and wellness market is expected to continue to grow following Covid-19.

Central Retail Corporation (CRC), Thailand's leading mall operator, has set its sights on opening a total of 700-800 Tops Vita stores selling vitamins and food supplements, with total sales of 1.5 billion by 2027.

According to Monrudee Lertuthai, CRC's head of new business - health and wellness, of the total, 300 Tops Vita will be opened under the shop-in-shop concept at Tops Care stores and the remaining stores will be opened at Tops Supermarket.

Tops Vita stores offer vitamin and food supplements via offline and online channels. It is also expanding to sell vitamin and food supplements via e-marketplace platforms.

The company expects to hire more than 1,000 staff under the five-year business plan.

CRC officially announced its expansion plan to health and wellness, a new business pillar under CRC, in February.

At present, there are three business categories under the health and wellness unit including Tops Vita, a vitamin and food supplement store, Tops Care, a health and wellness retail store chain, and Pet's N Me, a one-stop pet care store.

"The expansion into health and wellness business aims for the fulfilment of CRC's retail ecosystem," said Ms Monrudee.

"The market of health and wellness is very attractive because the total market was estimated to be worth 200 billion baht last year with an average of 8% growth a year. There are 400-500 vitamin and food supplement stores handled by big chain stores across the country," she said.

"Following the Covid-19 outbreaks, the market of health and wellness businesses is expected to continue to grow boosted by increased health concern trends while consumers take more vitamins and food supplements as preventive care," she added.

Ty Chirathivat, CRC's chief financial officer, said there are 21 Tops Vita stores now in operation and another 19 new stores are scheduled to be opened in the remaining four months of this year, bringing the total Tops Vita stores to 40 by the end of this year, with an aim to increase the number to reach 150 stores in 2024.

The size of each Tops Vita store is between 4-40 square metres.

Mr Ty said Central Retail is guided by the CRC Retailligence strategy, in which one of the key focus areas is building new growth pillars.

"We see Thai consumers' growing interest in health and beauty, especially during the spread of Covid-19, which has significantly accelerated the growth of the vitamins and supplement market," Mr Ty said.

Tops Vita offers customers over 1,000 vitamins and food supplements from trusted brands along with its exclusive imported products including Springleaf from Australia, DHC from Japan and Nature's Truth from the US.

"Tops Vita is considered one of Central Retail's strategies in the constant exploration of new growth engines, paving the way for Central Retail to become the leader within the health and wellness segment," Mr Ty said.

Ms Monrudee said apart from Tops Vita, CRC also plans to open two new Pet's N Me shops and 12 Tops Care stores in the remaining months of this year.

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