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Omni-channel focus rescues Central Retail’s bottom line

Tops Thailand

Thailand’s Central Retail Corporation says a quick pivot from offline retailer to becoming a full-scale omnichannel player has helped it restore sales to almost the level of pre-Covid-19. 

Third-quarter results just released show the company achieved sales of US$1.578 billion across its three markets – Thailand, Vietnam and Italy – returning a profit of $28.8 million. 

That compares with sales of $1.8 billion and a profit of $29.5 million in the first quarter, which ended in March, just before the Covid-19 lockdowns occurred. 

In the intervening three months, sales slumped to $1.37 billion, and the group posted a loss of $83.5 million.

While the company is still showing a $25.2 million loss for the year to date, CEO Yol Phokasub is confident that the company’s fortunes will continue to improve. “We have finally gained back the momentum that is [at] a satisfactory level,” he said in a statement. 

“Although the sales of CRC in the third quarter satisfactorily made the V-shaped recovery, we do not turn a blind eye on uncertainties such as a new wave of Covid-19, the tourism that has not fully recovered and increasing unemployment. CRC will continue to develop its organisation and adapt to play important roles in helping boost economies including a number of SMEs under the CRC platform to achieve a strong recovery,” he said. 

CRC has begun rebranding its Central Department stores, with the one at Mega Bangna first, soon to be followed by another at Udon Thani, in the provinces. Go! Stores opened in Buon Ma Thuot in Thailand in July, and at Tam Ky in Vietnam in August. 

Central Retail operates 3831 stores across its three markets, ranging from department stores, hypermarkets and supermarkets through to convenience stores and specialty retailers. Its headline brands include Central Department Store, Robinson Department Store, Robinson Lifestyle Center, Supersports, Central Marketing Group (CMG) and Rinascente (Italy). In specialty retail it operates Thai Watsadu, Baan and Beyond, Power Buy and Nguyen Kim, and in grocery Tops Market, Tops Daily, Tops Plaza, Central Food Hall, FamilyMart, Big C, Go! and Lanchi Mart. 

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