BANGKOK (Reuters) — Thai mall operator Robinson Department Store PCL said on Thursday it aimed for 2015 sales growth of 15 percent and planned to spend 3.3 billion baht ($102 million), mostly to open four more branches in major cities this year.
Robinson, which is majority-owned by Thailand’s largest retail conglomerate Central Group, plans to boost the number of branches to 60 over the next six years from 39 now, to tap demand after the planned formation of a Southeast Asian single market in late 2015, President Alan George Thomson said.
“The department store sector is still growing at an ever-faster rate in each year thanks to the urbanization process, high demand for fashionable lifestyle goods and economic expansion in various parts of the country,” Thomson said.
Robinson, like other Thai retailers, was affected by weak domestic consumption and declines in foreign tourists after months of political unrest last year when its revenue rose only 0.8 percent to 26.6 billion baht ($820 million).
The company plans to spend 200 million baht on each new branch and another 717 million baht to renovate six existing stores, he said.
At home, Robinson will focus on border cities to take advantage from the influx of new purchasing power from neighboring countries, he said the four new stores will be opened at eastern Rayong province, northeastern Buriram, Nonthaburi and Mae Sod in Tak provinces.
The company also planned to open one more branch in Vietnam after opening two stores in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City last year, Thomson said, adding details about location of the new store will be concluded in June.