Central Retail Corporation affirms main business expansion and ready to launch the second store in Shenyang China.

General Press Releases Thursday March 12, 2009 15:19
Bangkok--12 Mar--Central Retail

Central Retail Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer Tos Chirathivat has revealed that, in 2008, Central Retail Corporation, Thailand’s largest retail conglomerate, achieved a 5.7 % growth and spent over 4.1 billion Baht to expand its business domestically and internationally. For 2009, growth is expected to be 10-15%, assuming overall economy is recovery.

In “Central Retail Corporation’s CEO Update 2009”, Chief Executive Officer Tos Chirathivat says: “Central Retail’s performance with a 5.7% growth rate during the last year is satisfactory to the management. Among all business units, Robinson and Office Depot have the highest growth rate, 10% and 87 % respectively. The outstanding success of Office Depot results from Makro Office’s acquisition last year.

In 2009, Central Retail has plenty of opportunities to grow and expects great performance figures from its newly-opened stores “HomeWorks Phuket”, “Central Chaengwattana”, “Central Pattaya”, fashion wholesale centre “China World” and “Robinson Chonburi” and “Robinson Khonkaen”, which will be opened in the course of the year. Central Chaengwattana has achieved its sales target.

The investment of 9,200 million Baht is set aside for business expansion in continuous projects like Robinson Khonkaen (Robinson’s prototype for provincial branches), Robinson Chonburi, and a community mall on Rachapruek Road where HomeWorks and Tops are first –time combined. The company has allocated 5,000 million Baht for launch of new stores this year. Moreover, 1,300 million Baht is budgeted for the renovation of six main branches including Central Lad Prao, Central Pinklao, Central Bangna, Central Phuket Robinson Had Yai and Robinson Sriracha. By the end of 2009, Central Retail Corporation will increase its number of branches from 378 in 2008 to a total of 442.

After its success in Makro Office Centre’s acquisition last year with an 87 % growth rate for Office Depot, the company has decided to establish a business acquisition and expansion team to focus on business expansion with an investment target of a 3,000 million Baht per year.

Moreover, the executive committee of Central Group of Companies has agreed to purchase 10 % of Robinson’s stock with 111 registered stocks for a total of 530 million Baht.

Furthermore, business expansion in China is in progress. The second “Sang Tai” or Central Department Store, after the one in HangZhou, will be opened in Shenyang City in 2011. The 700 million Baht investment “Sang Tai” Shenyang branch is located in Mix C Complex and provides an area of 27, 000 sqm. total 7 floors. Central Retail Corporation will highlight Supersports and FoodLoft to meet Chinese market needs and offer products from Thailand to demonstrate Thailand’s high standard of manufacturing.

Regarding the management of information technology, Central Retail has planed to spend 600 million Baht, implementing new software for purchasing and supply chain betterment.

In supply chain development, Central Retail Corporation has signed an agreement to apply Electronic Data Interchange to facilitate the logistic system. Moreover, the new distribution centre on Bangna-Trad Road is ready to be inaugurated this October, equipped with the new technology “Warehouse Management System”. The new distribution centre at the area of 12,000 sq.m. will help the company to handle the growing business.

Regarding customer relationship management scheme, namely “The 1 Card” and “Spot Reward”, Central Retail Corporation has shifted 5 - 20% of its budget from mass-marketing to direct marketing activities. Today, there are around two million The 1 Card members and four million Spot Reward members that Central Retail Corporation focuses its direct marketing strategy on. This CRM program has provided a lot of benefits to the merchandising department as well as to suppliers in terms of service and product arrangement to achieve customer satisfaction.

Around 10,000 new employees also are required this year in which 3,400 employees will be posted at the aforementioned new stores, while 6,500 employees will fill in vacant positions. Management level is also in need for 100 positions. During last four months, approximately 2,000 employees have been recruited. HR policy mean to create human capital and productivity. Last year is the second year that Central Retail Corporation employees have average 10 % increase in salary.

Human resource direction is managed under “recruitment” and “regeneration”. While the company finds the best candidates, training and knowledge is provided to employees with academic courses, for example, “Dual Vocational Training in Retail Business Management” and “Power of Voice” will be the tools for employee to measure the satisfaction rate. Currently the company has gained 75 percentile, ranking in world-class level. At the moment, 30 employees are working in China and expected to be 80 by 2009.

Tos Chirathvat concluded “ Central Retail Corporation’s management will focus on business expansion, system development and human resource management at the same time in order to be the leader in severe competitive situation and organization that every one wish to work in. I am confident that Thai economy can recover.”

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