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Thai malls struggle to compete with online competitors

Shopping malls are increasingly featuring activities that online sites can't provide. CHANAT KATANYU

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Has the Thai shopping mall era come to an unceremonious end? Not yet, but to survive they must offer products and services that e-shopping sites can't provide.

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This is an excerpt from a much longer story that appeared in Monday's business section. You can read the full story  here. http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/news/1297123/malls-shore-up-for-online-deluge

Malls brace for online deluge

Pitsinee Jitpleecheep

Has the Thai shopping mall era come to an unceremonious end? With nearly everything now available with the touch of a button, physical shopping centres have been forced to fight for their commercial lives.

That is no small task, with new online retailers willing to suffer losses for years to stake their claim to a piece of the market, all the while wooing sellers with their size, lower prices and shorter shipping times.

"Malls must pull in customers through services that can't be replicated on the web, like beauty salons, co-working spaces or water theme parks," said Wuttikiat Techamongklapiwat, executive vice-president of property and lifestyle mall at Robinson Plc.

He said Thai retailers are adapting their business models to a rapidly changing retail landscape, which is now dominated by online sales and digital solutions.

Sales of apparel, cosmetics and electronics are quickly moving away from the traditional shopping centre to the online channel. KOSOL NAKACHOL

Department stores and shopping complexes, as well as hypermarkets, are freeing up space for shops that focus on providing lifestyle products and experiences to customers.

Up to 30% of retail space will be dedicated to services like beauty salons, barbershops, co-working spaces and water theme parks, Mr Wuttikiat said.

"We hope the move will allow them to remain competitive with online businesses," he said.

Mr Wuttikiat said Robinson has pivoted towards a "Robinson Lifestyle Centre" format in order to increase its competitiveness. Under the new model, the size of Robinson Department Stores will shrink, and close to 70% of floor space will go towards food, tutors, fitness and co-working spaces and recreation services.

Robinson will open two Robinson Lifestyle Centres and one department store per year.

The Robinson Lifestyle Centre in Lop Buri province has a water park called Fun Festa Splash.

Playgrounds and integrated fitness centres have also been added to its centre in Phetchaburi, and will be added to new Robinson Lifestyle Centres in the future.

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Vocabulary:

adapt : to change something to suit different conditions or uses - ทำให้เหมาะ, ทำให้เข้ากับ, ปรับ

apparel : clothing, when it is being sold in shops/stores - เสื้อผ้า, เครื่องนุ่งห่ม

available : that you can get, use, find or buy - มีอยู่, หาได้

barbershop (noun): a place were a person who cuts men's hair works - ร้านตัดผม

beauty salons : places where women go to get their hair styled -

brace for (verb): to get ready for something, usually something unpleasant or difficult to deal with - เตรียมรับมือ

business model : a design for the successful operation of a business, identifying revenue sources, customer base, products, and details of financing (Source: Google search page definition) -

co-working space : a shared working environment, a cross between an office and a cafe that allows independent freelancers a more social environment with other people to work in (Source: Wikipedia) -

commercial : for business purposes - เกี่ยวกับการค้า

competitive : involving competition - มีการแข่งขัน

complex : an area that has several parts - พื้นที่ประกอบด้วยส่วนต่าง ๆ

cosmetics : substances that you put on your face or body which are intended to improve its appearance - เครื่องสำอาง

customers (noun): people or an organisations that buy something from a shop/store or business - ลูกค้า

dedicated : used only for one specific thing - ที่กำหนดใช้ในทางใดทางหนึ่งโดยเฉพาะ

deluge : a sudden flow of a large amount of water; a sudden, very heavy rainfall - น้ำปริมาณมาก ฝนตกหนัก

dominate : to be in control - มีอำนาจเหนือ ครอบคลุม ควบคุม

era : a period of time that has a particular quality or character - ยุค, สมัย

focus : to give attention, effort, etc. to one particular subject, situation or person rather than another - เพ่งความสนใจ

format : the arrangement, design or organisation of something - รูปแบบ

future : what will happen to somebody/something at a later time - อนาคต

hypermarket : a very large supermarket, usually built outside a town, that sells a wide range of goods - ห้างสรรพสินค้า

in order to (prep): to cause something, to make something happen - เพื่อ, เพื่อที่จะ

integrated : combining things of different types in one effective system - ที่รวมเข้าด้วยกัน

landscape (noun): situation, everything you can see when you look across a large area of land, especially in the country - ลักษณะภูมิประเทศ

lifestyle : the type of life that you have, for example the type of job or house you have or the type of activity you like doing - วิถีทางการดำเนินชีวิต, ลีลาชีวิต, รูปแบบการดำเนินชีวิต

losses (noun): money that has been lost by a business or an organisation การขาดทุน - money that has been lost by a business or an organisation การขาดทุน

physical : existing in the real world, rather than in someone's imagination - โดยพละของธรรมชาติ, แท้จริง

pivot (verb): to turn or balance on a central point (= a pivot ); to make something do this - หมุนรอบเดือยหรือแกน, หมุนตัวรอบ

playground : a place where children can play -

property : a building or buildings and the surrounding land - อสังหาริมทรัพย์

provide : to give someone/ something that they want or need - จัดหาให้, จัดเตรียมไว้ให้

rapidly : happening quickly - อย่างรวดเร็ว

recreation : a particular activity that somebody does when they are not working - สันทนาการ, นันทนาการ, การละเล่น

replicate : to copy something exactly - ทำซ้ำหรือทำสำเนาใหม่

retail : to sell directly to the public for their own use - ขายปลีก

retailer : a person or company that sells goods directly to the public for their own use - ผู้ขายปลีก

shrink : to become smaller, or to make something smaller - หดตัว, เล็กลง

stake a claim (idiom): to say or show publicly that you think something should be yours - อ้างสิทธิ์

suffer : to be badly affected by a very difficult or unpleasant situation - ประสบความลำบาก

task : something that you have to do - งาน, หน้าที่; ภารกิจ

theme park : a place where young people go to ride fun rides or play games - สวนสนุก

traditional (adj): of a custom, a way of life or a way of doing things that has not changed for a long time - เป็นประเพณี, ตามธรรมเนียม, ตามที่ปฏิบัติกันมา

tutor : a teacher, especially one with special duties - ครูพิเศษ, ครูสอน,

unceremonious (adj): rough or rude , without caring about a person’s feelings - อย่างเป็นกันเอง; ในทางที่หยาบหรือหยาบคาย; อย่างไม่มีพิธี

woo : to try to persuade people to support you - โน้มน้าวใจ  จูงใจ

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