CPN celebrates the success of its first full-scaled Thai shopping center aboard in Malaysia; aims to be a ‘Regional Retail Platform’ catering for Thai products into international market in AECin
Central Pattana Plc. (CPN) today celebrates the grand opening of Central i-City, CPN’s first overseas full-scaled Thai shopping center in Malaysia. This underscores CPN as a leader by creating a ‘New Shopping Experience’ and a ‘Center of Life’ in the ASEAN region. With its roadmap of ‘Central to ASEAN’, CPN is creating a ‘Regional Retail Platform’ to pave the way for and introduce Thai brands into international markets and sustainably grow their business with CPN. The company will also support Thai brands and products as well as tourism by spearheading a concept of ‘Thainess to The World’. Using its expertise in ‘Retail Mix’, CPN develops international-standard shopping centers to support the lifestyles of multi-cultural communities serving Malaysian, Chinese, Indians and Western expats who reside in Malaysia. It is revealed that Vietnam will be the next destination.
Ms. Wallaya Chirathivat, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of CPN, revealed: “Central i-City is CPN’s pride in bringing Thai business and brands to enter the international market and in achieving our goal to become the leading retail developer in the region, showing how great Thai shopping center is. This is the first time that Thai shopping center established its name in the international market as we have applied all our expertise in shopping center development including design, merchandising mix, services and unique events to offer different experiences to Malaysian customers. We have considered the needs of the local people including Malaysian, Chinese, Indian and Western expats while maintaining the identity of the Thai shopping center. We can say that Central i-City will truly fulfil the needs of multi-cultural customers following the concept of ‘Center of Life’ applied at every location we have invested in, so that our shopping center is a center of every community.”
“We are aiming at the regional level while developing this project as we plan to create a network of regional shopping centers following our roadmap of ‘Central to ASEAN’ to establish our ‘Regional Retail Platform’ as a channel to mobilise products and services for entrepreneurs throughout the region and the AEC. This strong platform will work as the parent platform, where anyone can easily sell their product and grow together, creating connections in the economic zone, for example: Thai products to Malaysia, Malaysian products to Vietnam, and Vietnamese products to Thailand etc. The platform will also greatly support Thai SMEs as CPN will help to pave the way for them. We aim to become a brand ambassador of Thailand in overseas markets and will help promote Thai products and tourism. In penetrating the Malaysian market this time, we foresee the huge potential of its large economy and the people from Malaysia are both familiar with and fond of Thai products and the Thai identity. Visitors from Malaysia to Thailand form the second largest group after the Chinese (or approximately 4 million visitors to Thailand per year). That means we see the opportunity to bring Thai products and services that Malaysian customers are pleased with and offer them in Malaysia, too,” Ms. Wallaya said.
Mr. Pakorn Partanapat, Chief Commercial Officer of CPN, added: “Central i-City is a project where we have applied CPN’s expertise in the ‘Retail Mix’ and it is also the first time that we have developed a complete international-standard shopping center for multi-cultural communities. We have studied the demands and lifestyles of the people there thoroughly to specifically fulfil their needs such as for Muslim Malaysians, we have a Halal food zone and a fashion zone that offers Islamic clothing with modern design; and for Chinese, Indian and Westerners, we have an international food zone. Our supermarket offers products ranging from Halal and local items to the Royal Project products from Thailand. Moreover, we also provide space in Toys, Kids and a Family Zone to help support the target group of families with children.”
In addition, CPN is preparing to promote the Thai identity to the world under the concept of ‘Thainess to The World’, with products, services and events covering 52 weeks to differentiate our shopping centers from our competitors to offer an experience that cannot be found anywhere else in Malaysia. The leading Thai brands expanding overseas with us include: Café’ Amazon, Black Canyon, Barbeque Plaza, Cha Tra Mue and Cha Payom in addition to products from the Royal Project as well as Thai food, Thai spas and other Thai services.
Mr. Pakorn continued: “We aim for Central i-City to become a shopping center that offers ‘Malaysian friendliness with Thai hospitality’, presenting the identity of Thai culture to the eyes of foreigners. In the future, we plan to cooperate with government agencies such as the Thai Embassy in Malaysia, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Commerce and the Tourism Authority of Thailand to organize activities to publicize Thai culture such as the Songkran Festival, and the Loy Krathong festival etc. in order to promote tourism, make Thailand better-known and attract more tourists to Thailand. In September this year, people can expect to join Thai Expo event. We previously organized the ‘Hello Thailand’ event, which presented the Thai way of life by simulating the atmosphere of ‘Bangkok Street Life’ in the middle of Central i-City. We also brought shows from the ‘Joe Louis Thai Puppet Theatre’, ‘Leng Ratchanikorn’ and ‘Little Chatuchak’ to the Malaysian people for the first time.”
“For bonding Thai-Malaysian relationship, we will have an honour to welcome Malaysian Prime Minister and his company at ‘Malaysia Fest 2019’ event organized by The Embassy of Malaysia in Thailand and Malaysian-Thai Chamber of Commerce to promote Malaysian trade and tourism. It will be held at centralwOrld during 20-23 June 2019 and at CentralFestival Hatyai during 27-30 June 2019. This reaffirms the bilateral relationship of both countries in terms of commerce, culture and society,” Mr. Pakorn added.
Ms. Wallaya concluded: “As a large Thai company listed on the stock market, which develops full-form shopping centers and has expertise in managing shopping centers and retail businesses along with our local partners in Malaysia like i-Berhad (which has business strengths and understanding of customer Insights in Malaysia), we are confident that this shopping center project in Malaysia will be successful. Since its opening in March 2019, we have got high turnover and great feedback from local customers. We are still openly looking for further investment opportunities. The company also plans to expand and penetrate the Vietnamese market next.”
At the official grand opening celebration, Central i-City was honored to welcome His Royal Highness Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj Ibni Almarhum, Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Alhaj, the Queens and members of the royal family, Chief Minister and high-ranking government officials of Selangor as well as high management team of Central Group and CPN including, Supachai Panitchpakdi Ph.D., Honorary Chairman of CPN, Mr. Sudhitham Chirathivat, Chairman of the Advisory Board, Central Group of Companies and Mr. Preecha Ekkunagul, President and CEO of CPN.