Rebrand to mark Central Group’s 70th anniversary

Central Department Store Group will spend THB350 million (US$10.4 million) to rebrand its stores – alongside a push to boost its online services – during Central Group’s 70th anniversary this year.

“We would like our stores to be the places where people spend their daily life,” says Central Department Store Group chief executive Yuwadee Chirathivat.

She says the group is continuously seeking ways to transform areas of its retail business including product development, marketing, offline and online sales and services, and store decoration “with more lifestyle elements”.

“With our ‘Centrality’ concept, we want customers to gather not for only shopping, but also to learn new things and gain insights into other cultures. We aim to establish store branches in the heart of communities where people spend time together.”

Yuwadee says the group has formed strong bonds with Thai society over its 70 years, and after success in the Asean region has reached out into Europe, where it owns and runs luxury malls in key cities in Denmark, Germany and Italy. Its La Rinascente in Milan was named best department store in the world last year.

Central Department Store Group expects THB130 billion in total sales this year, up more than 10 per cent over last year. About 60 per cent of the group’s revenue will be from the domestic market, with the sales contribution from overseas stores doubling from 20 per cent in 2012.

“In Thailand, we will focus on sustainable growth and gradual expansion of our department-store outlets, especially in potential locations across the country,” says Yuwadee.

Slower pace

“We would like to open between three to four new Robinson department stores every year, but the opening of Central department stores will be at slower pace of one to two stores annually.”

The number of branded retail outlets run by the group is expected to increase from 294 to about 309 by the end of this year. Central Department Store Group has 10 retail brands in its portfolio, including Central Embassy, Robinson Department Store, Supersports and Zen.

Meanwhile, a new website, www., and mobile app connect customers to the company’s department stores worldwide. Customers can use the platforms to browse for tourist information in the cities where the stores are located as well as being able to book hotel rooms and restaurants, buy goods that are not available in Thailand and collect points on their The 1 Card.

Yuwadee says the group aims to boost online sales from less than 1 per cent today to between 5 and 10 per cent over the next three to five years.

Central Department Store Group will open the CentralPlaza Nakhon Ratchasima retail complex in November, a renovated CentralPlaza Rama III in December, and a new Central Phuket next March.


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