Mall Group eyes complete business district
B20bn to be invested in flagship outlets
The Mall Group Co, one of the country's leading retail operators, is partnering with two billionaire families -- the Sirivadhanabhakdi and Chearavanont clans -- in a effort to make Bang Kapi a complete business, residential and shopping district in eastern Bangkok.
The company also looks set to team up with another business partner to develop a residential project on a plot of land near The Mall's branch at Bang Khae.
The moves are part of The Mall Group's business roadmap to develop and upgrade Bangkok, key commercial business districts and distinguished residential districts, to align with the capital's rapid development.
Supaluck Umpujh, the company's chairwoman, said on Tuesday that the Mall Group plans to invest up to 40 billion baht next year. Of the total, 20 billion would be used to revamp its flagship stores -- the Mall Bang Kapi and The Mall Bang Khae -- which would become outlets under The Mall Lifestore format. Another 15 billion baht would be invested in facilities coming under the "EM District" project on Sukhumvit Road, while the remaining 5 billion baht would be used to renovate Siam Paragon Department Store.
"I have had a passion for a decade to reinvent both The Mall Bang Kapi and The Mall Bang Khae branches to become a complete business district, not just shopping complexes,'' said Ms Supaluck.
The company has already held discussions with Wallapa Traisorat, chief executive and president of SET-listed Asset World Corp, and Suphachai Chearavanont, chief executive of Charoen Pokphand Group, to help jointly create and develop Bang Kapi district by coming up with more residential projects, office buildings, hotels or other new investments.
In the initial step, the Mall would link together its retail malls with Makro and Lotus's -- part of the Chearavanont family's business interests -- along with Pantip, IT complex and Tawanna community which come under the Sirivadhanabhakdi family's business interests to increase convenience for their customers.
"The Bang Kapi area is likely to become a new hub for commuters once Bangkok's three new mass transit routes are up and running and connect with all the main routes within the capital,'' Ms Supaluck said.
A 2 kilometre-long skywalk linking Makro's Bang Kapi branch to the National Institute of Development Administration would be constructed.
"We are joining hands to develop Bang Kapi and Bang Khae district because 'togetherness' is a winning formula when doing retail business, along with strategic locations, marketing efficiency and experienced teams. We cannot go only by ourselves," Ms Supaluck said.
According to Ms Supaluck, the overhaul of The Mall Bang Kapi and The Mall Bang Khae would start next year and would be completed in December 2023.
Once the work has been completed, the two flagship stores would become a mega all-in-one retail and entertainment project, covering a combined area of over 700,000 square metres. It would be a place that prioritises the quality of human life, offers innovation and inspires limitless creativity, provides new and exciting experiences, harmonises technology and sustainability as well as being an essential landmark for the Bang Kapi and Bang Khae communities.
"All areas of both stores would be renovated and transformed in all dimensions with new brands and new concepts for each store catering to all the needs of different customers,'' she said.
At the The Mall Lifestore Bang Khae, the Mall Group also plans to join hands with potential business partners or develop residential projects independently on a plot of land next to the store covering 5-6 rai.
The company said once these two projects had been completed, it would help raise the foot traffic at its shopping centres by 30%.