Competitive Advantage

Central Group’s Competitive Advantage

Format Innovator

Central Group is at the forefront when it comes to developing innovative and diverse retail and service formats that address prevalent market opportunities.

  • In 1956 we opened Thailand’s first department store.
  • In 1974 we opened Thailand’s first full-scaled department store, Central Chidlom.
  • In 1978 we introduced “Mister Donut” to Thai consumers as a pioneer of the quick service restaurant business in Thailand.
  • In 1983 we opened Thailand’s first shopping complex, Central Plaza Ladprao.
  • In 1990 we created Thailand’s first lifestyle megastore with the opening of ZEN.
  • In 1994 we opened Thailand’s first hypermarket.
  • In 1996 we created Thailand’s first specialty retailer.
  • In 2003 we opened FoodLoft, Thailand’s first upscale cosmopolitan dining hall with open-area kitchens.
  • In 2006 we launched the first CRM program under “The 1 Card”.
  • In 2009 we opened ZENSE Gourmet Deck & Lounge Panorama on Level 17 of ZEN World.
  • In 2010 we created and launched Thai Watsadu – a new format of one-stop shopping for construction materials.
  • In 2013 we launched two new store formats: “SuperKoom”, an everyday low price supermarket, and “SuperKoom Wholesale” a low price store targeting wholesale customers.


Business Performance

  • In 2009 Central Group had a total sales turnover of 110,700 million Baht, which was 9% higher than the previous year though 1.6 percent lower than the target set at 112,500 mill Baht due to the global economic crisis and domestic political state of affairs
  • In 2010 Central Group had achieved outstanding performance with total sales turnover over 119,000 million Baht, which is 8% growth from 2009 despite being affected by the global economic crisis and domestic political situation that culminated in the closure of CentralWorld Plaza for over 9 months as well as closing down of ZEN for reconstruction
  • In 2011 Central Group had achieved total sales turnover of 139,600 million Baht, which is 17% growth from 2010 despite the continued global economic crisis and the great flood of Thailand forcing the temporary closure of many shopping plazas during the last quarter of the year.

Brand Building

It is important to focus on core businesses and core brands by extending on past successes, and by being committed to the building of our brands to be number one in the perception of consumers and customers in each segment, creating differentiation in brand experience through “quality” that is excellent in every aspect in both the goods and the services of Central Group, and by focusing on stable growth through world class quality.

People and Employees

Central Group’s people offer an ideal combination of Asian experience and international expertise. What was originally a small family-run company has evolved into a group of highly-experienced professionals, with senior managers regularly receiving training aboard in modern merchandising, marketing and operational techniques. However, being a family-run business also has many pluses, and our many employees are treated not just as employees but as family members. Indeed, it is apparent that many of our employees have had life long careers with the company.


Modern information technology systems help Central Group to deliver superior value to our customers. For example, our advanced customer relationship management system provides specific offers to each individual customer, and enhances customer shopping and membership experiences. Our modern distribution centers are integrated into an overall state of the art supply chain management system.  In 2013 Central Group was the first in Thailand’s retail industry in using voice picking devices in our Distribution Center to increase efficiency and accuracy. Moreover, we are continuously enhancing our information technology systems to support our customers.

International Reputation
    • In 2004
    • Yuwadee Chirathivat, then Central Department Store pesident, became the first-ever woman president of the Intercontinental Group of Department Stores (IGDS).

    • In 2005
    • Central Group’s retail business unit won Retail Asia’s “Best of the Best” Award.

    • In 2006
    • Central Food Retail (CFR) was voted 3rd in the ranking of “The Grocer”, the UK’s leading food magazine.

    • In 2008
    • ZEN received the “Euroshop Retail Design Award” during the European Global Retail Symposium.

    • In 2010
    • 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.
    • CentralWorld won International Council of Shopping Center (ICSC)’s “Best of the Best” Award 2010.

    • In 2011
    • Central Group’s retail business unit won the “Best of Best Retailer” in the Asia-Pacific Region” Award from Retail Asia.
    • Robinson Department Store was selected by Forbes Asia Magazine as one of “Asia’s 200 Best Under a Billion USD”.
    • Central Festival Pattaya Beach received “Asia Pacific Property Awards 2011 in Retail Development for Thailand” from International Property Awards in association with Bloomberg Television and Google.
    • Hilton Pattaya, under the management of CPN, won Hospitality Design Awards from Hospitality Design Magazine, Broadway, New York, USA.

    • In 2012
    • CPN received SET Awards 2012’s Top Corporate Governance Report Awards from the Stock Exchange of Thailand and Finance and Banking Magazine.
    • Kobchai Chirathivat, former President and CEO of CPN, won Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2012 Thailand from Enterprise Asia.

    • In 2013
    • Central Food Retail was awarded the “Produce Retailer of the Year” by Asia Fruit Logistica in recognition of the outstanding fresh produce.
    • Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin won “Outstanding Performance: Tourist Accommodation” from the 9th Thailand Tourism Awards.

    • In 2014
    • Sudhitham Chirathivat was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award from The World Retail Congress Asia Pacific in Singapore.

    • In 2015
    • Yuwadee Chirathivat was recognized by Forbes as one of the 50 Powerful Businesswomen in Asia.

    • In 2015
    • CPN and Centara Hotels and Resorts Group were awarded “Thailand’s Top Corporate Brand 2015″ in Real Estate Segment and in Tourism and Recreation Segment respectively from Master of Science in Marketing Program at Chulalongkorn Business School, Chulalongkorn University.