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Central Retail to invest US$575 million on expansion this year

Thailand’s Central Retail Corporation achieved 8 per cent revenue growth last year to US$7.1 billion and an 11-per-cent boost in profit to $394.7 million.

CEO Yol Phokasub said the improvement reflected “robust platforms” in every country in which it operated: Thailand, Vietnam and Italy. 

“We increased market share in every product category, including fashion, food and hardlines, whilst we also grew our customer base in each market with our strong eco-systems,” he said. 

Central Retail is on track to achieve a five-year goal of achieving 8-10-per-cent average annual income growth and earnings growth of 10-11 per cent. 

This year, Central Retail is investing $575 million into expanding its business in its three core markets, exclusive of mergers and acquisitions. 

In Thailand it plans to open three Robinson Lifestyle stores, seven Thai Watsadu stores and 3 Baan and Beyond stores, as well as expanding its food and speciality-store networks. 

In Vietnam it will open six supermarkets under the existing Big C banner and its new brand Go! 

It also plans to refurbish some existing stores and open more outlets under its LookKool, Kubo and SuperSports banners.

In Italy, it will refurbish its department stores in Florence and Rome, and focus on leadership in the lifestyle-luxury segment of the market.

“After many uncertainties in both the global and Thai economies this year, whether from the strong Baht, the COVID-19 epidemic, reduced tourist arrivals or declining consumer confidence, Central Retail must exercise caution in its business operations, closely monitor various issues and use technology to manage costs effectively,” said Phokasub.

“Our multi-category and multi-format platforms give us flexibility and adaptability to rapidly changing and volatile situations. This offers us an advantage and a good opportunity to reach customers, providing them with new experiences through our robust omni-channel platforms.”

Central Retail achieved sales growth online of about 56 per cent last year. 

“This year, we forecast sales through the omni-channel platforms to account for over 10 per cent of Central Retail’s sales,” he said.

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