It’s gone from mom-and-pop to mega-malls in just a few decades, but zoning and catering to consumers will determine the next step writes Aliwassa Pathnadabutr, Managing Director of CB Richard Ellis Thailand. With an official population of just under 10 million and a growing middle class, Bangkok boasts a remarkably dynamic retail property market.
Thailand’s history of retailing dates back to the days of family businesses run out of shophouses, and has evolved to include some of Asia’s largest and most glamorous shopping malls.In the past 20 years, expansion from the central business district CBD to midtown and suburban locations coupled with economic growth and changing consumer behaviours have helped the retail industry evolve to encompass the latest trade concepts,with newer formats emerging all the time.
The progression began with the opening of the country’s first 7-Eleven in 1988, followed by the hypermarket boom in 1990-97 with Tesco Lotus, Makro and Big C the key players.In 1997, the Emporium shopping complex opened, followed by Siam Paragon in 2005 and CentralWorld, a major renovation of the former World Trade Centre, in 2007. The opening of Major Cineplex Pin Klao also marked an important step as Major is now the country’s largest cinema operator.
The most recent milestone for the retail property industry has been the emergence of community malls. Developed in 2002 and 2004, Market Place and J-Avenue in Thong Lor by SF Group were the capital’s first successful community malls and have led to the development trend we are seeing today. Both projects pioneered a new retail format that is now found in many city and suburban locations, with retail spaces of approximately 3,000 to 5,000 square metres plus ample car parking and open spaces.
Thailand’s retail industry is dominated by local players.
Retail giants such as The Mall Group and Central Pattana are so strong in the market that they leave limited chances of success for foreign retailers to penetrate – unlike China, Vietnam and other Asian economies where foreign retailers have ramped up their expansion plans. Singaporebased CapitaLand, for example, currently operates 38 malls in China, with 15 more under construction.
In Thailand’s retail history we have had foreign department store chains such as Galeries Lafayette in Seacon Square,Tokyu in Ratchadaphisek and Sogo in Phloenchit, but these all finally closed as they did not meet Thai consumers’ preference. The competition now remains local, such as Siam Piwat which has successfully renovated Seri Centre into Paradise Park, SF – now an established community mall leader and currently developing Mega Bang Na,one of Bangkok’s largest malls – and Land & Houses, a big player in residential but a newcomer in retail is currently developing Terminal 21 in Asoke.
One of the key drivers of the retail evolution is consumer behaviour.
It is clear that the preference for Thai consumers is for “onestop shopping”. Mega-malls such as Siam Paragon, CentralWorld and CentralPlaza Lat Phrao have been immensely successful with the concept of everything under one roof from department stores, supermarkets,ancillary malls to a multiplex cinema. However, the development of mega-malls is constrained by several factors. Within the main CBD, the market is now fully developed and there is a lack of suitable development sites. To build mega-malls, a large prime site is mandatory.
The only two remaining CBD sites at present are the former British Embassy site on Phloenchit Road, which is being developed into Central Embassy, and the former Suan Lum Night Bazaar site on the corner of Witthayu and Rama IV roads, also earmarked for a retail development. Other than this, the competition for mega-malls within the CBD will be kept to renovation and facelifts of existing developments.
Read the complete story on Bangkok’s Evolving Retail Miracle | Thailand Property News.
Thailand remains 54th in World Happiness Report’s ranking
As one would expect with lockdowns and physical distancing, the pandemic had a significant effect on workforce well-being. Falling unemployed during the pandemic is associated with a 12% drop in life satisfaction.
Gambling in Asia: Thailand and more
There is a large demand for gambling throughout Asia, which is detailed below in a comparison between various countries, such as Thailand and more.
One of the fastest growing industries in the world is the gambling industry. It is currently worth around $443.2 billion, and is expected to continue climbing to an estimated $647 billion by 2027.
Skin-lightening products market to reach US$31 billion by 2024
In emerging Asian and African economies, the natural aspiration to enhance one’s circumstances has led to rapid growth in the market for skin-lightening products, which is projected to reach US$31 billion by 2024.
Subscribe via Email
3 Reasons to Be Optimistic About the Baht Right Now
Probably one of the most important factors for the rise of the Baht is the continued weakness of the US...
Will Thailand’s plan for quarantine-free tourism set a global trend?
According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the quarantine-exemption measures implemented in Phuket will be extended to five other key...
Thailand Approves Latest Economic Relief Package for Businesses
Some 250 billion baht (US$8 billion) was allocated for soft loans while the remaining 100 billion baht (US$3.2 billion) will...
Southeast Asia remains a hot spot for plastic pollution
The use of plastics is deeply embedded in our daily lives, in everything from grocery bags and cutlery to water...
Thailand BOI approves Biotech Projects Worth 2.4 Bln Baht ($78 million)
The biotechnology sector is part of the so-called BCG model (Bio, Circular and Green economy) which the Thai government has...
Diamonds are forever but “James Bond Island” in Phang Nga Bay may not
Thailand’s Department of Mineral Resources will assess the stability of the limestone karst towers, which make up the chain of...