By THE NATION
Supaluck Umpujh, chairwoman of The Mall Group, said that it has set a target to upgrade Thailand to a centre for trade and tourism in Asean and the world.
Presently, The Mall Group owns department stores and shopping malls, including The Mall, Siam Paragon, The Emporium, The EmQuartier and Bluport Hua Hin. About 500 million customers, both foreign and Thai, use the services in these shopping malls each year.
Supaluck said that based on the five-year strategic plan from this year to 2023, The Mall Group’s shopping malls will provide both offline and online services as a seamless platform, in addition to more branches.
The move is seen as a part of a strategy to tap customers, responding to the effect of digitalisation in changing consumer behaviour to buy more products online. Meanwhile, the offline platform still plays to strength in Thailand, where customers still prefer going to, touching and buying products in stores.
In addition, the leading retailer will invest over Bt80 billion to renovate all The Mall department stores, under The Mall Lifestore and “A Happy Place to Live Life” concept, and build up a mixed-use complex, the Bangkok Mall, on an over-100-rai (16-hectare) land plot on the Bang Na-Trat road area, opposite Bitec.
Bangkok Mall, designed under a “City within the City” concept, will consist of integrated offices, residential units, entertainment facilities and a shopping complex.
The ongoing construction of The Mall department store, Ramkhamhaeng 2 is expected to be complete within 2021.
A new management team will oversee implementation of the five-year strategic plan. Robert James Cissell, chief executive officer for the retail group, has been its head from September last year, managing all shopping malls – every The Mall department store, The Emporium, The EmQuartier, Siam Paragon and Bluport Hua Hin.
Under the retail group, Thierry Prevost, chief business officer for department stores, and Jennifer Fall, vice president for merchandise, will look after the merchandise group’s fashion and lifestyle products. Fall has management experience in the renowned Galeries Lafayette.
Jakkrit Keeratichokchaikun, chief business officer, and Luc Charrier, vice president for merchandising specialty retail, will manage the specialty business.
Chairat Petchdakul, vice president of merchandising – supermarket, and Chutidej Poocharoentou, vice president of merchandising – food, will take care of the gourmet and food group.
The Mall Group is highly aware of team building and human resources development in order to grow together with the organisation, Supaluck said.
She believes that a strong team with capability will be the foundations for success. “We’re confident that the strategies we set and our strong and capable team will bring a new phenomena to the retail industry and Thailand.”