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Sea change for Thai retail sector

By on Jul 09, 2014 in Property News, Retail

Siam Piwat, The Mall, CPN plan mega-projects in joint move to make Bangkok top destination for shoppers

Bangkok is expected to become a truly world-class shoppers’ paradise in three years when major mall developers complete their flagship projects.

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“By 2017, the world’s foremost brands will expect more than just a nice mall as the place to locate their primary outlet. The high-spending consumer will also expect more than just rows and corridors of shops at the place where they choose to spend most of their time,” Chadatip Chutrakul, chief executive officer of Siam Piwat Co, said yesterday.

The retail environment is about to go through another sea change – the first since Siam Paragon came on the scene almost 10 years ago, she said.

Siam Piwat, operator of Siam Centre and Siam Discovery Centre, in partnership with Magnolia Quality Development Corporation and Charoen Pokphand Group, the joint owners of leading property-development projects, recently launched Iconsiam, a Bt50-billion riverside mega-mall and residence. They say their new masterpiece reflects their great confidence in the future of Thailand, which shows signs of a sharp recovery.

Chadatip said what the consumer and visitor will want was somewhere that can excite and inspire them every time they make a visit. Everything else they do, including shopping, will come afterwards.

The most successful retailers will not be competing by providing a bigger and better shopping facility. They will be competing for a bigger share of the consumer’s leisure time.

“That is why Iconsiam’s retail component is not just about building a place to locate shops, but about something much, much bigger, which is to create a place that is a real destination of global repute.

“People will go there because they feel good about going there and about being there. That is also why Iconsiam is conceived as a city with a very wide range of offerings, including what we call the Seven Wonders, which are world-class attractions,” she said.

“We are also focused on the ‘River Master Vision Plan’, because it is a part of this drive to create a destination of global fame that consumers and tenants will expect by 2017.

“If we can make the entire riverside around Iconsiam a ‘happening place’ of worldwide fame, where the best and finest experiences can be found, then we will also succeed in ensuring that the Iconsiam retail offering is more than just a place for shops, but rather a place that is a destination.

“That is the concept that will allow Iconsiam to draw 200,000-300,000 visitors a day and become a new national landmark,” she said.

Iconsiam aims to bring both luxury and main retail buildings and world-class residential condominiums in one place. The complex, both retail and residential units, is expected to open in 2017 and break even in more than 10 years.

Half of the investment will come from loans from Kasikornbank and Thanachart Bank, and half from its own cash. Siam Piwat owns 50 per cent of the joint venture, while Magnolia Quality Development Corp and CP Group own the other half.

Located on Charoen Nakhon Road in Klong San district, Iconsiam will occupy 50 rai (8 hectares) and provide 750,000 square metres of gross floor area, of which about 525,000sqm will be for two shopping buildings and the rest for two 70- and 40-storey waterfront luxury condominium towers. The project also includes seven attractions that are the first of their kind in the country.

Among the Seven Wonders at Iconsiam will be Southeast Asia’s longest land-based multimedia water-and-fire feature at more than 400 metres in length.

“As a private company, we are quite confident in Thailand. In times of recession, Siam Piwat will always make progress on any investment,” she said. “We want to trigger confidence in our country, which shows signs of great recovery.”

Supaluck Umpujh, vice chairwoman of The Mall Group, said that by 2017, Thailand would be part of the Asean Economic Community (AEC), which she believes will herald a major change in the country’s position as a leading regional shopping hub and top tourist destination.

Besides the trend-setting Emporium Shopping Complex, the group is now developing The EmQuartier, The Emsphere, Bluport, Blupearl, and The Bangkok Mall.

“The establishment of those shopping malls including our six unique world-class projects will make Thailand an iconic capital of Asia,” she said.

Nattakit Tangpoonsinthana, executive vice president for marketing at Central Pattana (CPN), said Thailand’s participation in the AEC next year would make a major change in the country’s position as a leading regional shopping hub and top tourist destination.

In preparation for the expected increase in trade, tourism and investment unleashed by the AEC, CPN, the country’s largest retail property developer, is aiming to make Thailand the regional shopping hub and position Bangkok and Thailand at the forefront of global retail innovation.

The company’s mission is to elevate and add value to Thailand as a region retail hub with tourist attractions making Thailand a shopping paradise of the world.

CPN recently launched many retail mega-projects, which will lead its way to even greater success in world-class retail development.

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Source |  The Nation 4 July 2014

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