CRC Thai Watsadu Ltd, a unit of Central Retail Corporation that operates home improvement centres, yesterday said it is merging its HomeWorks stores into its baan & BEYOND network.
With the transition, the company expects to double its annual sales to about Bt50 billion in total in the next five years.
The company also introduced its new concept for modern home department stores in a bid to meet what it describes as consumers’ new lifestyles in the era of Thailand 4.0.
CRC Thai Watsadu expects to achieve total sales at Bt25 billion this year. In addition to baan & BEYOND, which is positioned more in the premium segment, the company also operates Thai Watsadu stores targeting homeowners, homebuilders and contractors as well as retail shops that resell its products to end-users. The company operates 45 Thai Watsadu stores in Thailand.
Suthisarn Chirathivat, chief executive officer of CRC Thai Watsadu Ltd, said that the key reason for the brand transition is to serve changing consumer behaviour.
Consumers now demand a greater variety of choices in home improvement products and services with expectation for quick responses.
Suthisarn said these factors prompted the company to transform HomeWorks into baan & BEYOND, which it is promoting as a new brand with a variety of products and services at affordable prices.
He said that under the change, three existing HomeWorks branches at Ratchapruek and Rattanathibeth in Bangkok, as well as in South Pattaya, had been already changed into baan & BEYOND outlets. Another HomeWorks store in Phuket will be transformed into a baan & BEYOND store by November. This will take the total number of baan & BEYOND stores to six, including the existing outlets in Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen, which have been operating since 2013. About Bt200 million will be invested in the rebranding process and activities.
“We also plan to have about 20 baan & BEYOND stores in total over the next five years,” Suthisarn |said.
Suthisarn said that the overall construction materials and home decoration market is expected to grow 3.6 per cent this year to about Bt200 billion, driven by various encouraging factors. The country’s economy is expected to continue recovering, with 4.8 per cent growth in gross domestic product projected for this year.
Suthisarn pointed to the stimulus effect from big investments by the public sector, especially in mega-infrastructure projects. Rapid urban expansion is another factor boosting household income and this had led to a growing number of housing units built over the past decade. The target home owners have changed to younger and smaller families, especially in Bangkok, business-focused cities, tourist destinations and the industrial cities in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
The consumer behaviour trend in Thailand is also changing, with the greater demand for a variety of choices in home improvement products and services with quick responses.
Suthisarn said that with Thailand becoming an ageing society, seniors have purchasing power with more need for convenience. With the rapid changes in technologies, consumers expect faster delivery of products, services and information with a quick response time of 24 hours. Social media is a key tool in their purchasing decisions, he said.
“Our key challenge is serving the constantly changing consumer behaviour that has been influenced by disruptive technologies,” he said.
“To cope with the challenges, apart from new service innovations like vFIX and the best omni-channel experience, we need great people with a great service, which is our key strategy to overcome such challenges,” said Suthisarn.
He said baan & BEYOND provides a broad range of construction materials, home finishing, home repair and maintenance products. “It offers home lovers new shopping experiences that go beyond expectations, meeting all customers’ needs with a good variety of products and good value for money,” said Suthisarn.
“In addition, the baan & BEYOND stores provide a solution for home problems allowing customers to get home improvement and repair assistance via the vFIX application or by calling the contact centre on 1308. Also, based on the omni-channel feature, customers can enjoy online shopping around the clock.”