An aggressive Central Watson expansion plan just unveiled will see more than one new store a week opened in Thailand from now to 2020.
The Hong Kong retail giant’s Thai joint venture with Central Group says it has allocated 1 billion baht (US$28 million) to new stores – enough to fund up to 275 new outlets.
In an interview with The Nation newspaper, MD Rod Routley said despite the Thai retail market remaining competitive, Central Watson has confidence in the retail growth potential of the nation.
“We will continue to invest more here,” he said. “With a positive outlook, we are looking forward to 2016 being another year of great performance,”.
The growth focus will be on metropolitan Bangkok, tourist destinations and provincial cities.
In addition to building up its physical store network – which reached 375 at the end of 2015 – the company is investing on enhancing its eCommerce offer, expanding its private label offer and improving digital communications. Private label sales grew 30 per cent last year, with the addition of 200 new lines.
Routley said Watsons achieved solid growth in the first four months of this year and expects double-digit growth for the full year.