The “Mall Group” to spend USD103m on expansion in Thailand,2013 | Bangkok Post

The Mall Group, Thailand’s second largest department store, plans to set aside THB 3 billion (USD 103.4 million) for business expansion this year. One billion will be spent on a face-lift for their stores, with the balance for marketing, said senior chief marketing officer Chamnarn Maytaprechakul.

The company plans to branch out with its “Home Fresh Mart” supermarkets to become retail outlets not anchored to a Mall Group property for the first time this year, aiming to raise supermarket sales.

Of the renovation budget, 500 million baht is slated for a reworking of the supermarket and food areas of Siam Paragon Department Store to update their look.

The Mall is trying to cope with stiffer competition driven by new players as well as several retail complexes also deciding to renovate in surrounding areas, including MBK and running along Rama I Road to the Ploenchit intersection. Another 500 million baht will be used for face-lifts for The Mall Bang Khae and Tha Phra, said Mr Chamnarn.

Pira Assavapirom, senior merchandising officer for supermarket business, said the company will transform the 4,000 square metres of the MCC Hall and bowling lanes on the fourth floor of The Mall Bang Khae into a food hall and city walk.

The city walk will accommodate small fashion and lifestyle product vendors in order to capture the teenage market.Renovation of all three branches is expected to be complete by the end of this year.

Mr Pira said the company plans to branch out with its Home Fresh Mart supermarkets to become retail outlets not anchored to a Mall Group property for the first time this year, aiming to raise supermarket sales.

The company will spend 100 million baht to open “Home Fresh Marts” at several retail complexes run by the Laemthong Group in Si Racha and Bang Saen in Chon Buri province.The additional “Home Fresh Marts” will raise the number of supermarkets opened outside The Mall department stores to five this year.

Chairat Petchdakul, General Manager of procurement for fresh food, is confident these branches can help build brand awareness and attract more customers.

The company plans to open another five to six supermarket branches at other retail locations outside The Mall complexes over the next three years. Mr Chamnarn expects retail business this year to be brisk, with robust sales the first three weeks of the year and crowded foot traffic at the group’s malls.

Sales of  The Mall Group reached 46 billion last year, up 8% from 2011. Its growth target is 8-9% to over 50 billion this year.

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