By Kwanchai Rungfapaisarn
The Mall Group expects brisker sales at its malls and department stores in the second half thanks to a rebound in consumer confidence after its business flattened out in the first half due to the political unrest.
“Our sales dropped by 2-3 per cent year on year in the first quarter. However, at some branches such as Siam Paragon, situated in a sensitive location near the demonstration area, sales declined by double digits,” executive vice president Chamnarn Maytaprechakul said yesterday.
“We couldn’t launch any promotion at that time as shoppers were in no mood to buy. They were in a highly cautious mode about spending money on everything and it was difficult for us to stimulate their spending.
“As a result, we decided to suspend many marketing and sales promotion activities. It caused our advertising and promotion budget as well as operating costs to be cut by 5-10 per cent at that time,” he said.
Things started to get better in the fourth and fifth months of this year, but the curfew declared by the junta caused the group’s service hours to be shortened by about two hours a day.
However, the group achieved sales growth of 2-3 per cent year on year in the second quarter.
“We have seen no internal factor to be concerned about in the second half of this year as everything is getting better,” he said.
The group expects to achieve Bt50 billion in sales this year, up from Bt49 billion last year.
It has budgeted Bt2 billion for marketing this year, of which about Bt800 million was spent in the first half.
“We plan to launch promotion campaigns month after month to create a strong impact on our shoppers. We, however, have set a conservative sales growth target of only 2-3 per cent in the second half of this year so that we can better control our budget,” he said.