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Bang Na mall race picking up steam with new entrant

BackDec 08, 2011

PITSINEE JITPLEECHEEP
RETAIL SALES

The opening of the Megabangna shopping complex on May 3 next year will intensify competition in the Bang Na area, with retailers planning to pour in huge sums to guard their businesses.

At the same time, several new players are jumping on the bandwagon by developing large-scale projects in suburban areas away from the inner city.

More than 10 billion baht will be allocated for renovating stores, enlarging shopping centres and new development.

Central Pattana Plc plans one billion baht in spending for a major facelift of its Bang Na branch, while Siam Piwat Co, the operator of Siam Center and Siam Discovery, has also set a budget of one billion baht for new development next door to its current Paradise Park on Srinakarin Road.

The Mall Group, a pioneer of megaretail and entertainment complexes, is planning a new large-scale complex in the Samrong area near Bang Na.

Additionally, Seacon Development Co plans a multipurpose building worth 10 billion baht behind its current Seacon Square shopping centre on Srinakarin.

Megabangna will pave the way for a new chapter in Thailand's retail landscape as growth shifts from central Bangkok to the suburbs, said Christian Olofsson, manager of the shopping centre.

Mr Olofsson is also the president of SF Development Co, which is in charge of the project.

Megabangna is now 92% leased, and the company is confident in the potential of Thailand's retail market, which it expects to grow at a steady pace in 2012.

While Megabangna's low-rise, allunder-one-roof retail model has proved successful in many countries, the local offerings will include dining and entertainment to suit Thai consumers.

The 400,000-square-metre complex will see many leading local and international brands coming from the inner city to the suburbs for the first time including the Spanish fashion brands Zara and Bershka. Big anchors will include Ikea, Robinson Department Store, HomePro, Major Cineplex and Big C Extra.

Five or six international fashion brands are in talks to set up shop at the complex,completing a unique tenant mix that aims at the modern middle-class family.

Caroline Murphy, an executive vicepresident of SF Development, said the company plans to spend 200 million baht to promote the complex. It expects to welcome 100,000 visitors a day and break even in 10 years.


SF Development executives Caroline Murphy and Christian Olofsson expect Megabangna, opening in six months, will pave the way for a new chapter in Thailand's retail landscape as growth shifts from the inner city to the suburbs.

 

BANGKOK POST
8 December 2011