ICONSIAM, the spectacular US$ 1.7-billion Bangkok, riverside landmark development that’s readying to open at the end of this year, today, announced a new US$ 20 million attraction that aims to draw 21.9 million visitors, annually, as well as introduce a new retail concept called ‘co-creation’.
Mrs. Chadatip Chutrakul, a director of ICONSIAM Co., Ltd., said, “We have dedicated almost 4 acres of space within ICONSIAM’s 750,000 square metre gross floor area to an extraordinary feature called ‘SookSiam’, where we will present the best products, services and artistic creations from Thailand’s 77 provinces in a single, exciting destination and in a dramatic, new ‘co-creation’ format that is immersive, emotional, and entertaining.”
“SookSiam presents the cultural heritage of all the four, main geographic regions of Thailand, capturing their arts, handicrafts, performing arts, and local wisdom. Within SookSiam are outlets of varying types that are built in the style of their respective regions, and which offer regional specialties, whether they be crafts, foods, beverages, or services that are unique to that region,” she said.
“We layered on top of this a completely new, emotional dimension by letting visitors experience the stories behind everything they see, and we let them know about the people involved with each place, product, and service at SookSiam. It makes the offerings at SookSiam exciting and meaningful, and the destination much more engaging because of the deeper knowledge that visitors have on all that is around them,” Mrs. Chutrakul said.
Mrs. Chutrakul said, “What’s never been done before and what makes SookSiam truly unique is its authenticity. SookSiam is like a window into every province and into every corner of Thailand. People can see, feel, and experience the true heart and soul of each locality. The outlets at SookSiam are real stores that all have real counterparts in towns and villages around Thailand and which are transposed into SookSiam.”
SookSiam is being produced and curated by Mrs. Luckana Naviroj who is known for her expertise in sourcing authentic products and foodstuffs from around Thailand.
Mrs. Naviroj said, “We travelled the entire country to find these unique shops, artisans, and artists, and invited them into SookSiam. They are all small mom-and-pop operations that are famous in their localities and operated by several generations of the same family. Despite their extraordinary offerings, they have never had a chance to present themselves to a wider national or global audience because of their limited means.”
Preserving the nation’s heritage
Mrs. Naviroj said, “While helping these small operators, our purpose is also to help preserve Thailand’s cultural heritage and the rapidly disappearing Thai way of life. SookSiam offers a platform that will help the next generation turn their legacies into bigger enterprises, incentivizing them to continue with their occupations and preserving Thailand’s cultural heritage and way of life at the same time.”
Mrs. Chutrakul said that SookSiam represents the inauguration of a new retail concept called ‘co-creation’.
She said, “Everything special being presented at SookSiam is actually created by someone somewhere else in Thailand. We ‘co-create’ with them by adding our knowledge of consumer preferences and supporting them with innovation as well as with retailing and marketing techniques based on our insights into the needs of Thai and foreign visitors. We also assist them in ‘curating’ the selection and the presentation of their offerings, adding value to their intellectual property and proprietary skills.”
“All our co-creators at SookSiam benefit from a new retail ecosystem that we have developed and which offers a boundaryless offline and online experience for visitors blending eCommerce with eFinance and eLogistics,” Mrs. Chutrakul said.
Mr. Chayapong Naviroj, Chief Executive Officer of SookSiam said, “We have secured the collaboration of more than 3,000 people, families and enterprises from around Thailand, and almost all are opening their first establishment outside of their home town.”
“We are fully utilising technology and interactive virtual reality software so people experience the story behind everything and everybody at SookSiam,” he said.
ICONSIAM is developed by Siam Piwat, the owner and operator of prestige retail developments such as Siam Center, Siam Paragon, and Siam Discovery; Magnolia Quality Development Corporation (MQDC), the owner and developer of luxury quality residential and mixed-use projects; and multi-national conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group)