The Central Group of Companies is considering expansion of its jewellery trade and fashion centre in parts of Asean within the next five years.
The regional expansion is to cash in on the up-coming Asean integration from Asean Economic Community which will effective by the end of 2015, said Henry Ho, director of Jewelry Trade Center, a shopping venue operated by Central.
“Myanmar and Vietnam are the first two markets showing the most potential. The investment will be through joint ventures with local partners in those countries. The investment for each centre will be around Bt1 billion,” Ho said.
In Thailand, the company has invested about Bt100 million in the repositioning of its Silom Galleria Shopping Centre, jointly owned by the Central Group and the Ho family, from a jewellery trade centre to a shopping centre. Besides jewellery, the complex offers an art centre and a new fashion outlet.
For 15 years, Jewelry Trade Center has been known by Thais and foreigners alike as the country’s largest jewellery trade hub, boasting quality, trustworthiness and variety.
Central Retail Corporation, operator of Jewelry Trade Center, is moving ahead with a rebranding plan to realise this potential and expand the centre’s target group to cover general consumers under a new image.
“The company is well aware of Jewelry Trade Center’s potential,” said Lertvit Pumipitak, senior vice president for business development at CRC. “It is well known internationally and boasts a strong reputation as Thailand’s No 1 hub for jewellery trade. Its location right in the heart of Bangkok makes it easily accessible as well. We plan to rebrand Jewelry Trade Center from just a trade centre into a leading shopping centre.
“With JTC as the new name, the centre will receive a range of modern upgrades aimed at turning it into a one-stop jewellery shopping and art centre. We will also launch Bangkok Fashion Outlet, the first and only city-centre fashion outlet, to attract fashion-conscious Thai shoppers and round out a complete shopping experience for all visitors.
“With the three new zones inside, we are confident that JTC will become one of Asia’s leading shopping destinations for Thais and tourists alike,” Lertvit said.
“We expect daily visitor totals to increase from 5,000 to 30,000, with Thais and foreigners in a 60:40 ratio. The company will spend Bt20 million on a string of marketing campaigns throughout the year, including promotional offers and activities like special sales fairs for various brands, as well as constant marketing communication in Thailand and abroad. “We are looking to raise sales to Bt2.5 billion in 2014 and make JTC a genuine international shopping attraction,” he said.