One Family’s Vision
With our eyes cast firmly to the future, the Central Group continues along the path of our founder’s dream.
The group’s early history can be traced back to Tiang Chirathivat, a determined and persevering entrepreneur who was committed to building a strong foundation for his family’s future.
Mr. Chirathivat first opened a small family-run shop in the city of Bangkok during the early 1950s. Then in 1956 his son, Samrit Chirathivat, expanded his father’s general merchandise business with the establishment of the first Central Department Store in Bangkok’s Wangburapha district. Both father and son, the group’s founders, were fully engaged in running the business, and were also helped by other members of the family.
The era was one of bustling trade and growth, and the young entrepreneurs quickly established businesses that were characterized by many “firsts” in Thailand: the first to import international cosmetic brands; the first to focus on impeccable customer services; and the first to implement innovative marketing communications.
Samrit Chirathivat believed that success would come from honesty and hard work, as well as from the provision of the best possible ser-vices and products for Central’s customers.
Central Group still remains 100% committed to our founder’s vision.
“Our success grew out of our determination to bring Thailand into the modern world. We are committed to contributing to its prosperity and enhancing the quality of life of its people.”
Samrit Chirathivat, Founder of Central Group
The Central Family – the Central brand of retail, services and products has become synonymous with trusted quality and excellence in Thailand, and continues to remain at the top of the marketplace.
Central Group consists of a variety of diverse investments in various corporations, each of which has become the leader in the retail, property development, brand management, hospitality, and food and beverage in-dustries. These complementary businesses continue to strengthen our position in the marketplace, both domestically and internationally.
Today, Thailand has become one of the most dynamic and vibrant economies in the whole Southeast Asian region, with a large and growing number of sophisticated consumers and urban dwellers: and in the next decade, Thailand will play an increasingly important role within the new ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
Central Group is a major player in several business sectors in Thailand, and is contributing to the rapid growth of the Thai economy. The Group has established a leadership position in almost all of the business sectors it has a presence in, namely: retail, shopping malls, real estate, brand management, hotels and resorts, as well as food servicing businesses.
Among Thailand’s five largest business groups, and one of the most successful conglomerates in all of Southeast Asia.
A family-held corporation that began life as a general merchandise store in 1947, and now has 67 years of experience in the retail industry.
One of the largest employers in Thail-and, employing over 70,000 people in various business sectors ranging from retail to real estate.
An international investor. Central Group acquired La Rinascente, the Italian-based luxury department store, and Illum, a famous Danish department store, in 2011 and 2013 respectively.
A multi-national organization. Central Group operates a number of overseas stores, including in Vietnam, and Indonesia, as well as hotel properties in the Maldives, Mauritius, and Sri Lanka
- Central Trading
- Open: Central Silom
- Establish: Central Restaurant Group
We introduced “Mister Donut” to Thai consumers as a pioneer of the quick service restaurant business in Thailand.
- Open: Central Plaza Ladprao
We opened Thailand’s first shopping complex, Central Plaza Ladprao.
- Open: ZEN Department Store
We created Thailand’s first lifestyle megastore with the opening of ZEN.
- Launch: Big C Supercenter
We opened Thailand’s first hypermarket.
- Launch: FoodLoft
We opened FoodLoft, Thailand’s first upscale cosmopolitan dining hall with open-area kitchens.
- Awards: Yuwadee Chirathivat
Yuwadee Chirathivat, then Central Department Store pesident, became the first-ever woman president of the Intercontinental Group of Department Stores (IGDS)
- Awards: Central Group "Best of the Best Awards"
Central Group’s retail business unit won Retail Asia’s “Best of the Best” Award.
- Royal Garuda Emblem
- Launch: the1Card
We launched the first CRM program under Spot the1Card.
- Awards: Central Food Retail (CFR)
Central Food Retail (CFR) was voted 3rd in the ranking of “The Grocer”, the UK’s leading food magazine.
- Awards: ZEN "Euroshop Retail Design Award"
ZEN received the “Euroshop Retail Design Award” during the European Global Retail Symposium.
- Launch: ZENSE
We opened ZENSE Gourmet Deck & Lounge Panorama on Level 17 of ZEN World.
- Launch: Thai Watsadu
We created and launched Thai Watsadu – a new format of one-stop shopping for construction materials.
- Awards: Central Department Store "Department Stores of the Year"
Central Department Store was nominated to be among the Top 5 “Department Stores of the Year” in the 2nd Global Department Store Summit, held in New York
- Awards: CentralWorld "Best of the Best 2010"
CentralWorld won International Council of Shopping Center (ICSC)’s “Best of the Best” Award 2010.
- Launch: SuperKoom & SuperKoom Wholesale
We launched two new store formats: “SuperKoom”, an everyday low price supermarket, and “SuperKoom Wholesale” a low price store targeting wholesale customers.
- Awards: Sudhitham Chirathivat
Sudhitham Chirathivat was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award from The World Retail Congress Asia Pacific in Singapore.
Central Group Operational Highlights
2013 Total Sales
US$ 7.5 billion
US$ 1 billion
More than 4,400 locations/branches
Net saleable area
Approximately 4,560,000 sq.m.
Over 70,000 employees
The 1 Card, with over 4.5 million members
SpoT Card, with over 6 million members
Central Group Financial Highlights
Central Group is among Thailand’s five largest business groups. It has achieved extraordinary double-digit growth since 2009, during which many businesses succumbed to the forces of globalization and severe competition. Because of our diversified portfolio of business operations, serving all the different consumer segments and lifestyles, and our emphasis on brand building, the company has gone from strength to strength, growing from US$ 3.8 billion sales in 2009 to US$ 7.5 billion in 2013.
Central Group Corporate Book 2016