Swanky malls seek to lure more shoppers 

Swanky malls seek to lure more shoppers 

Upgrade, renovations to lure more shoppers

The 1,600 Pandas World Tour will run at Central Embassy in Bangkok until April 10 as part of the World Wildlife Fund's campaign to promote conservation and awareness of environmental issues. PATIPAT JANTHONG
The 1,600 Pandas World Tour will run at Central Embassy in Bangkok until April 10 as part of the World Wildlife Fund's campaign to promote conservation and awareness of environmental issues. PATIPAT JANTHONG

Two of Bangkok's premium retail complexes, Central Embassy and The EmQuartier, are waging a new round of battle to draw more shoppers during the economic slowdown.

Located near Phloenchit intersection, Central Embassy has earmarked 240 million baht to add space, adjust its merchandise mix and increase its range of products and services.

Of the total budget, 30 million baht will be allocated to expand the space at Eathai Cafe from 2,500 to 3,550 square metres, said Barom Bhicharnchitr, managing director of Central Embassy.

The shopping complex will see a major upgrade, with additional vendors including a 900-sq-m supermarket and a new Eathai lifestyle corner.

About 150 million baht will be spent to turn more than 7,000 sq m into a unique lifestyle section featuring 15 new restaurants, bookstores, a playground and a working space.

The new additions will open in the fourth quarter of this year.

Another 60 million baht will be set aside for a new hangout spanning 1,000 sq m on the fifth floor of Central Embassy, also opening in the fourth quarter.

The Park Hyatt Bangkok, a long-awaited luxury hotel which is part of the Central Embassy property, will be up and running soon, Mr Barom said.

With these additions, the 18-billion-baht Central Embassy will be fully operational by the year-end, about one year behind the initial plan.

Central Embassy expects the number of visitors to rise to 30,000-40,000 a day, up from the current 20,000.

The high-end shopping mall was formally opened in mid-2014 with a walkway linking it to Central Chidlom department store.

The Mall Group, operator of The EmQuartier on Sukhumvit Road, opened in March 2015, will make minor renovations to the Thai designer fashion zone and adjust its merchandise mix to respond to customers' lower spending power.

Ravimon Thanitarom, general manager for merchandising at The Mall Group, said demand for Thai designer brands has been growing consistently despite the stagnant economy.

The group will start renovating the Thai designer zone on the second floor in the third quarter, increasing space by 10% to 6,600 sq m.

With the plan, the group expects sales of Thai fashion designers at The EmQuartier to increase by 5% to 892 million baht this year.

The group will also stop selling about 10 imported fashion brands priced 50,000-100,000 baht at The Emporium and replace them with new imported brands priced 10,000-30,000 baht to respond to the reduced spending power of customers.

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