Importer PP Group unveils ambitious plans for 2018
PP Group, importer and distributor of the brands Celine, Emilio Pucci, Givenchy, Loewe, Longchamp, MCM, Roger Viiver, Tod’s and Tory Burch, is marking its 15th anniversary this year with a Bt200-million investment in three strategies to “hugely increase sales” beyond Bt1.2 billion.
Managing director Suvadee Phungbunphra said this week the group had enjoyed “satisfactory” growth for 15 years.
“We have never ceased to develop our services and keep pace with trends,” he said. “In 2018, we will implement three main strategies.
“The first is a loyalty programme focused on managing customer relations and targeting VIPs. The second is introducing a new brand to the Thai market late this year. Thirdly, we will officially introduce Longchamp to the e-commerce sector.”
Vice president Orand Puipunthawong said PP has done well in recent years despite the country’s overall business sector enduring “hard time”.
“Last year our business grew by 40 per cent from the year earlier. Like-for-like growth was 20 per cent. The bigger growth rate owed to the opening of more MCM shops, one at Siam Paragon and the other at Central Embassy, as well as TOD’s entry into PP Group.
“In the first quarter of 2018, our business grew by 46.2 per cent from the same period a year earlier. Such huge growth reflects good economic signs and rebounding consumer spending. So PP Group has even greater confidence in investing. We have now allocated between Bt150 million and Bt200 million to invest in shops, marketing, PR and promotions in pursuit of a sales target of Bt1.2 billion this year.
“The loyalty programme will be a key strategy,” Orand said. “We have run loyalty programmes before, but for individual brands only. Market analyses show that some regular customers have bought products of not just one but many brands under our umbrella. We have thus decided to seriously conduct customer-relation management.
“Customer information from every brand in our group will be put into the central system so that we can see customer behaviour from a broader perspective. We have invested in a new system to create a PP Group loyalty programme. Apart from being VIPs to each brand, our customers will also be treated as VIPs by our whole group and get extra privileges.”
Suvadee explained that the programme was for customers buying products from all nine brands.
“There will be two membership categories – PP Pearl and PP Pure – based on a customer’s spending in one year. Benefits will come from nine brands, not just one.”
Orand said the group was going to launch Off-white in Thailand, a brand that “exudes the mixture of street fashion and lifestyle taste”.
“These days even luxury brands place a strong emphasis on street styles. Street trends have been growing in Thailand, just as a greater number of Thais have paid attention to fashion.
“Thai fashion bloggers have dressed outstandingly at internationally recognized fashion weeks. Their presence has influenced Thai consumer behaviour a lot. Thais have become more confident and self-expressive. When they choose clothes and accessories, they think about their identity and differentiation.”
Suvadee describes Off-white as “a brand with clear character, fun and bold”.
“It represents the courage to face challenges. Such character should answer well to the taste of Thai people as well as tourists in Thailand. The launches of Off-white in various world cities have received very good response. We trust that Off-white sales in Thailand will be satisfactory, as a huge number of Chinese tourists in the country look set to help provide a boost.”
Orand said the move into e-commerce was another key strategy for 2018.
“It is undeniable that consumer behaviour has changed significantly, with many more Thais shopping online now. Today, various e-commerce platforms are up and running. PP Group has tested online distribution by selling Longchamp and MCM via the Line app. The move initially aimed at providing convenience to customers who cannot physically drop into our shop. Online shopping is easier for many customers in the provinces. Now we believe it’s the right time to fully develop an e-commerce platform for our brands.
“According to intelligence, retail e-commerce was worth US$3 billion in 2016. Of that amount, about $390 million – more than Bt13.65 million – came from fashion businesses. These groups had a remarkable growth rate of 49 per cent, too.
“Recognising the trend, we have invested in website development and https://onlinestore.ppgroupthailand.com is ready to spur our online sales. Longchamp was chosen as the first brand to officially step into our online store. It is a successful brand with a 70-year history and familiar to Thais.”