Central and Robinson Department Stores, under Central Retail, are bringing new excitement to Thailand's year-end retail market with their new key strategy to elevate Thailand's leading department stores to Global Standard through omnichannel strategy, marketing activities, promotions, revamped stores, and new stores to be opened once the COVID-19 situation has eased and improve the shopping senti-ment. 6 key strategies have also been announced to help Central and Robinson pave way for the Store of Future, offering a real customer-centric shopping experi-ence and set to achieve double sales growth within the next 5 years.

Mr. Olivier Bron, Chief Executive Officer - Central and Robinson Department Store, under Central Retail, with over 10 years in world-class department store management, including Galeries Lafayette, reveals in the Central / Robinson 2022 Vision & Strategy "Bring Legacy to Sustainable Growth" press conference that "Central and Robinson are growing robustly with the Omnichannel strategy. As we were the first department stores in Thailand, we are now a strong leader, differentiated by our store network with nationwide coverage, complete range and variety of product and shopping channels. These have resulted in Central and Robinson steadily overcoming the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the success of the total Omichannel sales growth (Year-to-Date) of 120%, the Central App reaching 4 million downloads and sales increasing 70% com-pared to the previous year. Meanwhile, Social Commerce such as Chat & Shop and Facebook Live have shown a 100% Year-over-Year sales growth, and Personal Shopper on tel. 1425 now has over 1,000 agents generating sales growth of 300%."

Strategic Plan for growth in 2022

"The authentic and sustainable Thai House of Brands, where customers can renew the experience of the best of Thai and international Fashion and Home" is the key achievement and the vision of Central and Robinson. Also, the store ecosystem with the superior solutions will empower Central and Robinson to become the sus-tainable Stores of Future, targeting double growth within 5 years from 2021 to 2026.

To achieve this robust growth, Central and Robinson have set six key strategic pri-orities as following:

  1. Selecting The Best in Class Product Assortment & Services including items exclusively available at Central and Robinson stores while focusing on importing new products and brands to excite customers and to elevate all de-partments to become customers' ultimate shopping destinations.
  2. The Most Ambitious Program of Store Transformations: with the invest-ments budget of over 5 billion baht in 2022 to transform stores for the lifestyles of shoppers in each location and be community hubs with "Centrality". This includes renovation plans for Central Chidlom in 2022 as well as Central Ladprao, Central Rama 2, Robinson Chachoengsao, Robinson Srisamarn, and Robinson Department Stores in Robinson Lifestyle malls which are located in high potential provinces such as Thalang in Phuket and another 2 stores in the future.
  3. The #1 Omnichannel Retailer in Premium Segment: As omnichannel as the key to robust growth, Central and Robinson aim to deliver a complete omnichannel shopping service by connecting the worlds of offline and online shopping together. With the investment over 3 billion baht in five years, CENTRAL APP has evolved into a Super App offering all services from Central in a single app, the equivalent of putting the entire store on your phone. Shopping experiences and convenience have also been added to better meet customer demand for personalization. A range of Social Commerce channels have also been improved, including Chat & Shop through LINE@ CENTRALOFFICIAL and LINE @ROBINSON, Central TV, Facebook Live, Facebook Messenger Inbox, and Personal Shopper on Demand 1425, a shopping service with a Personal Shopper. Innovations have also been brought in to reach Omnichannel leadership in the premium segment, such as the e-Ordering service or easy shopping from a single location, to be first piloted at Central Silom Complex this year end. Customers can also expect a launch of new lifestyle shopping Central TV Live on YouTube and Face-book.
  4. The Most Outstanding Marketing Initiatives: New and exciting experience will be brought to customers through a variety of outstanding marketing initiatives. This includes signature events at national and local levels. There will also be the integrated communication through both in-store and out-of-store media as well as the voices of influencers at both the national and the local level in each store. Next year, Central customers will experience the year-round excitement of Central's 75th anniversary celebration.
  5. The Highest Standards of Services: "Never say 'No' to customers" is the key of service to furnish the best shopping experience to customers from their first step into Central and Robinson store. The stores will also focus on improving services and bringing new and exciting store decorations. The services on Central App and Personal Shopper will see constant improvement to offer even more convenience and better meet the customer's demand.
  6. The Most Personalized Relationship to Customers: CRM campaigns have been designed to reach target segments with insights and data from The 1 Database which has over 18 million members. The data is analyzed to generate the most compelling promotions and exclusive privileges for both Thai customers and tourists through clear, accessible, and easy-to-understand media to inform customers of their eligible privileges.

Road map for the last months of 2021

To add colors and stimulate spending at the year-end after the COVID-19 situation has greatly improved, Central and Robinson have prepared a lot of exciting events for customers, starting with signature campaigns to spread happiness among cus-tomers during the holiday season:

  • Central Let's Celebrate and Robinson Celebration Sale (1 Nov 2021 – 4 Jan 2022) to bring colors to the stores as a Destination of Happiness during the New Year's holiday.
  • Central Black Midnight Sale and Robinson Black Friday (26 Nov - 6 Dec 2021), our well-known signature promotional campaign
  • Central/Robinson 12.12 Mega Festival (7 – 15 Dec 2021), a double-digit campaign of unmissable year-end promotions

Besides these, the different categories inside the stores have also been reinvigorated to match the lifestyles of every customer segment, including:

  • The new-look of Beauty Galerie, Home department, My Little World, and the new coming zone as Michelin-level restaurants in Central Ladprao
  • Beauty, Watches, Women shoes, Kids and Street fashion in Central Rama 2
  • Clothing and Jewellery from Instagram, in Central Pinklao
  • B2S revamped and modernized offering favorite books, stationery and gadgets, on level 6 of Central Chidlom.
  • The first Muji New Concept Store on level 7 of Central Chidlom.
  • Lofter, the latest concept of loft-style food court, bundling for the first time 30 legendary restaurants that are over 30 years old all over Thailand to serve the delicious taste of traditional food recipes on level 7 of Central Chidlom.

The opening of new stores and others store modern renovation will be align with the changing lifestyles and new generation behaviors, including

  • Robinson Ayutthaya - The New Robinson Concept Store Heart Of Upper Central Thailand, scheduled to open on 30 Nov 2021
  • Robinson Siracha - New Look & Vibrant Community Center, scheduled to open on 3 Dec 2021
  • Central Khon Kaen - The New Shopping Playground of Isan to support the growth of Khon Kaen city, scheduled to open on 7 Dec 2021
  • Robinson Rangsit – The Department Store in the key potential suburb dis-trict, scheduled to open in Dec 2021

Development with sustainability supporting communities' growth

Central and Robinson have a commitment to develop business hand-in-hand with environmental and community sustainability, from selecting products and brands with sustainability priorities, reusing store decoration materials and allocating more green space in the stores, and the responsible collection and disposal of waste. There is also a focus on boosting the energy efficiency of business operations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while using power and water efficiently.

There is also cooperation with 'Central Tham', Central's project to develop and promote Thai communities. It enables Central and Robinson to support local communi-ties to bring products for sale and to decorate stores. This generates local incomes and brings community handicrafts to the wider notice of visitors, such as Mut Yom clothing and accessories from 6 communities around the country on sale in Central Department Stores and to decorate in Central Rama 2. Pompoms from 10 communi-ties in Kampaengphet are being used for Christmas decorations and gift boxes in Central and Robinson stores. Local materials have also been used to decorate Cen-tral Khon Kaen and Robinson Ayutthaya, and etc.

Central and Robinson have also conducted activities to show concern for society during the COVID-19 crisis in the campaign, "Bring You The Best", with donations of cash, medical supplies and medical equipment to support medical personnel and assist infected patients and others impacted by COVID-19. Customers have also been invited to donate The1 points to support the Food Van campaign of Boy-Jiab which will deliver food to communities impacted by COVID-19 from 15 Nov – 31 Dec 2021 through The1 App.

"Central and Robinson have grown from strong roots for over 74 years in Cen-tral's case, and 42 years for Robinson. With great support from Thai people, it enables to drive both department stores moving forward with strength and sus-tainability, as well as underlining our leadership of Thai retail by being truly 'Central to Life'" concluded Mr. Olivier Bron.

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