Central to open Robins department

Economy February 07, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Thailand's Central Group is expanding its presence in Vietnam with the launch of a department store in the nation's capital next month under the Robins brand.

Tos Chirativat, chairman of Central’s executive committee and chief executive officer, said the successful launch of SuperSports, Crocs and New Balance stores in Vietnam through a network of subsidiaries and brand licensing to Vietnamese partners had highlighted the spending power of the country’s 90 million residents, more than 60 per cent of whom belong to a workforce with high purchasing power.

This makes Vietnam a target market with high potential for growth and an excellent destination for investors in the retail sector, Tos said. Hanoi and surrounding areas are showing signs of healthy and consistent growth, while average incomes appear to be on the rise as well.

Additionally, the influx of foreign investors is driving the strong growth of the Vietnamese economy, leading to a positive spending pattern among target consumers over the past couple of years, he said.

Alan Thomson, president of Robinson Department Store, who is overseeing department-store operations in Vietnam, said the group’s first overseas outlet under the Robins brand would soon be occupying 10,000 square metres of retail space on the B1 level of Royal City. This is a modern mega-mall project in Hanoi with more than 200,000sqm and more than 5,000 residential units.

This location coupled with a range of quality products selected from only leading international and local brands carefully will ensure that Hanoi consumers will find everything they need at Robins, he said.

Furthermore, after the first store in Hanoi, Robins plans to launch its second store in Ho Chi Minh City by the end of this year.

"We expect that our stores will create employment opportunities for over 1,000 applicants in these two cities," Thomson said.