Central Group Milestones

Explore our heritage, innovations, and landmark events that have formed today’s Central Group.

First Steps to Create Tomorrow (1947-1973)

Tiang Chirathivat and his son Samrit evolved a new style of business when they progressed from their small family-owned general store to a shophouse selling international books, magazines and imported goods and then to the first department store in Thailand.

Leading the Modern Era (1974-1993)

During a period of rapid change the group opened the Central Chidlom flagship store in Bangkok, took the department store concept to other parts of the country, and diversified into the chain restaurant business and hotels.

Borderless World (1994-2014)

Central Group became an international company, opening hotels in overseas markets, moving decisively into the European luxury retail sector, and becoming the largest foreign retailer in Vietnam.

The Digital Transformation (2015 - present)

Through increased use of technology and by entering into strategic ventures with world-class partners the group is moving towards an omnichannel platform that will fully embrace the digital lifestyle.

1947

Commenced the first Central Group business in a small shophouse in Bangkok selling local and international books and magazines and other general merchandises

1950

Founded Central Trading and expanded the product range to include imported goods such as ready-made clothes and cosmetics

1956

Opened the first Central Department Store in Wang Burapa district, the biggest department store in Thailand at that time

1974

Opened Central Chidlom, Thailand's first full-scaled department store, our Flagship store today

1978

Opened "Mister Donut", a donut franchise from Japan - the commencement of Central Group in fast food business, now "Central Restaurant Group"

1980

Established Central Plaza Co., Ltd. (now Central Pattana PCL) to undertake retail property development and management business

1983

Opened Central Plaza Ladprao, Thailand's first mixed-use complex comprises a department store, retail shops, hotel and office building

1990

Central Retail Corporation incorporated to extend the Group's retail businesses

1990

Central Plaza Hotel Public Co., Ltd. (CENTEL) Listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand

1992

Opened Central Department Store - Kad Suan Kaew, Chiang Mai - The first Central Department Store in upcountry

1995

Acquired Robinson Department Store, no. 2 department store chain at that time

1996

Launched new specialty format
Tops Supermarket - now the largest supermarket chain in Thailand

1997

Launched new specialty format
PowerBuy - now the leading retailer of electrical appliances, IT products, mobile phones and gadgets in Thailand
Supersports - now Thailand's no. 1 sporting goods retailer

2001

Launched new specialty format
B2S, Central Group's books, entertainment, and stationery specialty store

2002

Acquired the World Trade Center property and renamed to CentralWorld

2005

His Majesty King Rama IX granted Central Department Store the right to use the Royal Garuda Emblem - the Royal Warrant of Appointment granted to companies and businesses that show exceptional services and commitment to the economic and social development of the nation

2006

Launched The1Card, Central Group's loyalty program (now the largest loyalty program in Thailand)

2010

Launched new specialty format
Thai Watsadu, a one-stop shopping store for building supplies and construction materials, the first large standalone specialty format of Central Group

2011

Acquired the Rinascente collection of luxury department stores in Italy, our first entry into Europe

2012

2 Major acquisitions
OfficeMate, Thailand's no.1 B2B e-business and total business solution and
FamilyMart, Thailand's No. 2 convenience store chain

2013

Acquired ILLUM Department Store, Denmark - a luxurious Scandinavanian department store

2013

Debuted Central Online, our first webstore for Central Department Store

2014

Opened Central Embassy, the iconic landmark of luxury retail

2015

Acquired Nguyen Kim (one of the leading electronics retailers in Vietnam) and Lanchi Mart (a modern retail pioneer in rural Vietnam)

2015

Acquired 3 luxury department stores in Germany – KaDeWe, Oberpollinger, and Alsterhaus – through the acquisition of KaDeWe Group

2016

Acquired Big C Vietnam, and later renamed to "GO!"

2017

Opened Park Hyatt Bangkok Hotel

2017

Forged alliances with JD.com, Dusit, Hongkong Land, IKEA

2018

Launched JD Central and Central JD Fintech

2019

Invested in Grab Thailand - a leading online-to-offline mobile platform