Store network

Thailand distribution center to spend $3 billion on store network expansion

Central Group’s listed retail subsidiary gave few details on how the funds would be spent, beyond expanding and renovating the store network, as well as implementing new technologies in its three geographic markets.

The strategy, unveiled in a presentation earlier this week, aims to grow revenue 2.5x and EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) 3.5x over the next five years, the company said in a statement.

The plan includes Central Retail’s operations in Thailand and Vietnam, as well as Italy, where it owns the high-end department store business Rinascente. This does not include the Selfridges department store business which parent company Central Group, together with Austria’s Signa Holding, agreed to buy for $5 billion last December.

“We aim to be the retailer that truly knows and understands our customers, shaping the future of retail in a way that has never been done before,” said Central Retail Managing Director Yol Phokasub.

Central Retail operates 23 department stores in Thailand under the Central banner and another 40 under its midscale Robinsons brand, making it by far the largest player in the department store category in the country.

The Central Retail store network had 3,641 branded stores as of September 30, 2021, including supermarkets, hypermarkets, sportswear, stationery, electronics and office supplies.

Along with store renovations and expansions, the new strategy will encompass live streaming, crypto payments, NFTs, gamification, IoT and metaverse, Central Retail said.

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