Seacon looks to shake up Bang Khae retail

New mall will bring competition to area

Retail competition in western Bangkok will heat up after the opening of Seacon shopping complex in Bang Khae this August, breaking the long dominance in the area of The Mall Group.

An artist’s conception of the Seacon Bang Khae mall set to open in August. With a wave design, the 40-rai modern contemporary project comprises a five-storey building with retail space of 130,000 square metres.

Tatiya Sosothikul, managing director of Seacon Bangkae Co, said the new 3-billion-baht store will open on Aug 15, about two months behind schedule.

With a wave design, the 40-rai modern contemporary project comprises a five-storey building with retail space of 130,000 square metres. Among its attractions is the 6,500-square-metre Yoyo Land indoor theme park.

Tatiya: Bang Khae has unmet demand

Some 80% of retail space has been booked while 70% is being decorated. Mr Tatiya viewed this take-up response as better than expected.

"We have confidence in Seacon Bangkae because there is unmet demand for a large-scale shopping complex in the area. The Mall has the only other large mall there," Mr Tatiya said.

Moreover, population in the 10-kilometre radius from Bang Khae is about 900,000 people, 50% higher than the Srinakarin area where Seacon opened Seacon Square 19 years ago, he added.

Spending power in Bang Khae is on par with the Srinakarin area.

The company expects to gain 300 million baht in rent this year and 700 million baht when the complex is fully operational next year. It projects to break even within seven years, shorter than with Seacon Square.

Charun Poopat, the company's vice-president, said Seacon Bangkae plans to spend 120 million baht to launch over 100 marketing activities a year. It expects 100,000 visitors a day.

Prote Sosothikul, another vice-president, said 300 million baht is earmarked to renovate both the interior and exterior of Seacon Square this year. Its rivals include Paradise Park, CentralPlaza Bang Na and Mega Bangna.

Apart from Seacon Bangkae, Mr Tatiya said the company is conducting a feasibility study for developing a new retail model. It may also acquire existing malls.

"We are not interested in community malls. It is easy for developers to enter this segment so the competition is very high and the return on investment is not attractive," he added.

The group is expected to reach 1.5 billion baht in revenue this year and almost 2 billion in 2013.

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Writer: Pitsinee Jitpleecheep
Position: Business Reporter