Central Group’s Future Challenges and Direction

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Central Group aims to be Thailand’s leading Retail Company in lifestyle products and services, adding outstanding professionals at various key positions, and revealing strategic plans in preparation for future challenges

  • Central Group aims to be the leader in lifestyle products and services and a complete hub for people to dine, relax, be entertained, responding to customers of all age group

 Central Group aims to use digital tools and e-commerce to create exciting shopping experiences that respond to customers’ needs serving quality products and excellent services. 

  • We will focus on bringing Central’s business to ASEAN Economic Community/Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam (AEC/CLMV countries) which are important markets for our regional expansion.

Top Management Team

New Top management of Central Group

  1. Dr. Prasarn Trairatvorakul                  Senior Advisor
  2. Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi      Senior Advisor
  3. Mr. Yol Phokasub                              President of Central Group
  4. Mr. Nicolo Galante                  Chief Operating Officer of Central Group
  5. Mr. Chanitr Chanchainarong            SEVP, Corporate Development

Internal Appointment

  1. Mr. Pichai Chirathivat                  Executive Director in charge of CSR/

Relations/Communications and Group


  1. Mrs. Wimolmart Kuekomoldej Co-Head of Central Group Corporate HR
  2. Mr. Stewart Stemple   Co-Head of Central Group Corporate HR 

Future Challenges and Business Directions of Central Group

  1. Central Group aims to be the leader in lifestyle products and services and a complete hub for people to dine, relax, be entertained, responding to customers of all age group. These measures are needed to respond to future challenges in the retail business over the next 10 years.

– In 2016, Central Group expects total sales revenue to increase 21 per cent from last year to approximately 320 billion Baht.

– Sales revenue can be divided geographically:

: Bangkok 40 per cent (Bangkok and 5 municipal areas)

: Provinces 30 per cent (covering 36 provinces in 2017)

: Overseas 30 per cent

  1. Customer Segments

Thai Customers in general

– Thailand’s total population is 66 million (as of 2016), and growing at a rate of only 0.5 per cent per year over the last 10 years.

Age Generation
17% – lower than 15 years old 11% generation Z (below 10 years old)
30% – 15-34 years old 28% generation Y (10 – 29 years old)
38% – 35 – 60 years old 24% generation X (30 –44 years old)
15% – more than 60 years old 31% generation Baby Boomer (45 –69 years old)
  6% Generation Silent (70 years old up)

– 1/3 of Thailand’s total population live in urban areas and are expected to continue to increase especially in the north and northeast of Thailand

– Within the next 4 years (by 2020), the number of elderly people (aged more than 60 years old) is expected to exceed the population of children (age below 15 years)

Age 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Aged below 15 years 17% 17% 17% 17% 16%
15 – 34 years old 30% 29% 28% 28% 28%
35 – 60 years old 38% 38% 38% 38% 38%
60 year old and up 15% 16% 17% 17% 18%

Local Thai Customers at Central

In 2016, Central’s business has expanded to 34 provinces in Thailand serving more than 45 million people (70 per cent of total populations).

There are around 11 million ‘The 1 Card’ members, mostly Generation X (30 –44 years old).

Age Generation
0% – lower than 15years old 0% Generation Z (below 10 years old)
43% – 15 – 34 years old 28% Generation Y (10 – 29 years)
50% – 35 – 60 years old 41% Generation X (30 –44 years old)
7% – 60 year olds 28% Generation Boomer (45 –69 years old)
  2% Generation Silent (upwards of 70 years old)

Tourists at Central

Approximately 30 million tourists visited Thailand in 2015, a 21 per cent increase over the previous year.

Tourists by nationality

Country  2014 2015 Change
1              1 China 4,600,000 7,900,000 71%
2 Europe (exclude Russia) 4,400,000 4,700,000 7%
3              3 Malaysia 2,600,000 3,400,000 31%
4             4 Japan 1,300,000 1,380,000 10%
5              5 Korea 1,100,000 1,370,000 24%
6 Laos 1,100,000 1,230,000 16%
  7 India 910,000 1,070,000 18%
8 Singapore 960,000 940,000 -2%
9 Russia 1,600,000 880,000 -45%
10 USA 730,000 870,000 18%
11 Middle East 640,000 660,000 2%
12 Others 4,900,000 5,400,000 10%
Total 24,800,000 30,000,000 21%

– Daily average spending is 5,140 baht per day, divided into 30% for accommodations, 19% on shopping, 11% on food and beverage, 10% on entertainment, and 6% on tourism and other expenses.

– The most popular provinces (based on most popular hashtags on social media) are Bangkok, Phuket, Chonburi, Krabi, Surat Thani, Phang Nga, Chiangmai, Songkla, and Ayudhya.

Central Group’s tourist customer

– In 2015, sales at Central Department Stores to tourists increased by 15% compared to the same period in 2014. The highest growth rates were seen with tourists from China (78%), the Middle East (48%), and India (22%).

– Central Group’s businesses are diversified in 7 of the 8 most popular provinces:

Border Trade Customers

– Central Group stimulates trade with neighboring countries including Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia, where the population of these four countries combined exceeds 107 million people.

– Central Group also expanded its full-service retail business to Vietnam which has total population of 92 million and a GDP growth rate of more than 10%.

3 The digital age economy: Online, E-commerce, and other technologies that extend the boundaries of traditional business

– A wide range of technologies in the digital age pushes the boundaries of business models and people’s lifestyles around the world, such as the prevalence of mobile Internet use and cloud computing technology.

– The digital age has changed Thai consumer behavior from shopping at traditional channels to move online. Products such as beauty products, clothing and electrical appliances are likely to be searched online. Today, more than 50% of consumers who conduct product search online will make their purchases online. Consequently, online shopping is a rapidly growing trend.

– Businesses must integrate all sales channels together in order effectively reach consumers because the number of consumers using smart phone applications and social media even while shopping at shopping malls and department stores has increased rapidly.

– Over the next 10 years, most of the growth of the retail business in Thailand will come from online channels. Currently, online channels have played a huge role in accounting for domestic businesses in many countries such as in China (where online sales accounted for 14% of total sales), Japan (7%) and the US (9%)

– Transactions through electronic media (e-Commerce) had not been popular in Thailand (amounting to only 2% of total retail business) mainly due to the retail trade continuing to retain its original format and their inventory not fully reflected on their online media that does not offer a complete range of all their products and services.

– Online sales from Office Mate, Thailand and Nguyen Kim, Vietnam this year will be higher than 2.5 billion THB as we have access to online channels, and we are making our way to be an online leader with our strong and complete platform. In addition, sales from online channels of Centara Hotels and Resorts account for 30% of the total amount.

– Central Group strives to be a leader in retail business by integrating all sales channels to reach our consumers by offering goods and services that satisfy and provide the greatest convenience.

– Central Group also saw an opportunity to use digital media from electronic media (e-commerce) transactions by using technology to create business models such as Airbnb and Uber, so we have begun to diversify our businesses such as through E-book, MEB, Central Online, Zalora into the aforementioned channels. In the near future, Central Group will expand its distribution to more digital channels.

  1. Overseas expansion to global and regional (CLMV and AEC) levels

Oversea expansion

Year Business
2011 “la Rinascente” –  The best and most luxurious department store in Italy
2013 “IIIum” – The oldest department store in Copenhagen, Denmark
2014 – Central Marketing Group (CMG) acquired Malaysia’s fashion distribution company HCH industries

– Central Department store in Jakarta, Indonesia

2015 -“Kadewe Group” in Germany (Kadewe, Oberpollinger, Asterhaus)

– Nguyen Kim and  Lan Chi, Vietnam

2016 -Big C

– Zalora Vietnam and Zalora Thailand

– From 2011 to 2016, overseas sales volume increased twelve times (from 7,000 million baht to 85,000 million baht).

– Domestic sales volume has increased twice over the same period

The population in CLMV combined with Malaysia and Indonesia is 525 million.

  1. 258 million people in Indonesia
  2. 92 million people in Vietnam
  3. 68 million people in Thailand
  4. 54 million people in Myanmar
  5. 30 million people in Malaysia
  6. 16 million people in Cambodia
  7. 7 million people in Laos

Central Group currently owns businesses in Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia.


  • sales volume is expected to reach 37 billion baht from:

: 31 Shopping Malls

: 55 Food Retail business: Hypermarket/Supermarket (36 Big Cs and 19 Lanchi stores) and 13 Big C Express stores

: 2 Robins

: 27 Nguyen Kim stores, the electronic device seller

: 29 Sports equipment stores (Supersports, Crocs, New Balance, Speedo)

: 36 Fashion item shops (Mark & Spencer, F&F, Komonoya, Lee, Sanrio)

: 2 store of B2S

: Online stores: Zalora and Nguyen Kim Online

Central Group’s businesses are located in 26 provinces in Vietnam, offering access to 60 percent of the whole population.


  • HCH, a fashion-clothing business, by Central Marketing Group
  • Central Plaza i-City by CPN (will commence operation in October 2018)


2 Central Department Stores in Jakarta

  1. Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

In Thailand, there are 2.8 million SMEs, of which 42 percent or 1.2 million SMEs are retail and wholesale businesses.

– There are 13 million people working in SMEs of which 6 million people work in the same sectors as Central Group:

3.6 million people in Retail and Wholesale businesses

1.2 million people in Hotel and Restaurant businesses

1 million people in Real Estate businesses

– The SME business in terms of export has a higher growth rate than other large businesses

: From 2011 to 2015, export sales growth rate of SME businesses averaged 4.8 percent per year compared to only 1.2 percent per year for other large businesses.

: Central Group is determined to support and promote the domestic and international growth and expansion of Thai SMEs to help communities generate more stable and sustainable incomes. We also encourage communities to share their knowledge with neighboring communities so everyone can prosper together.

  1. Guideline of Business Administration with Stakeholders

Central Group is determined to impart our corporate core values to our company’s stakeholders (product and material manufacturers, environment, society, employees, public sectors, and future generations) both in terms of long-term cooperation and through strategic plans so we our businesses can grow equitably together.

Organizational administration with good governance

– Central Group runs its organization according to good corporate governance to support the growth of its businesses

– Central Group registered some of its sibling companies in public company limited forms in the stock market, such as CPN, Robinson, Officemate and the hotel group, so we have to run our businesses according to international standards.

Financial Stability

– Central Group runs its businesses by using professional risk management systems

– Central Group is monitored by Good Corporate Governance regulations that emphasizes frequent audits to ensure that there is sufficient checks and balances, and transparency

Relationship with public organization

– Central Group emphasizes supporting and cooperating with the government to build and maintain good relationships

– To expand Central Group’s businesses overseas, we strictly adhere to the laws and regulations of every country and support their government policies. For example, we participate in a public and private collaboration to help SMEs expand their businesses overseas.

– Central Group believes in managing longstanding sustainable businesses.

– Central Group invests more than 30 billion baht on average each year to stimulate the Thai economy, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for all communities. (In 2015, Central Group invested 34 billion Baht)

Creating Shared Valued (CSV)

Central Group aims to be a part of the community as well as running its business. To do this, we uphold the UN Global Compact’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) vision as a core principle in our work that is also aimed at improving and contributing to a better quality of life for all Thai people.