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News Release


Retail Developers Putting Greater Focus on Success of Existing Centres

No new development projects has been announced in downtown Bangkok this year

The world’s 18th most attractive retail destination for international retailers (according to The Destination Retail 2016​ report by JLL), Bangkok is well-known as a shopper’s paradise, with everything from a vast array of wholesale goods to a menagerie of luxury brands, all vying for the attention of foreign tourists and domestic consumers alike. Despite buoyant demand from retailers, no new large prime retail development projects has been announced in downtown Bangkok this year, according to recent observations by international property services firm JLL.

More than 500,000 sqm of new prime grade leaseable space has completed across Bangkok since early 2013, including high profile centres such as Central Embassy and EmQuartier. While this new supply has been quickly taken up by both international and local retailers, it has also intensified competition for foot traffics among retail centres. As a result, rather than developing new projects, most retail developers are now focusing on optimising their existing portfolios. Many have invested in expanding and renovating their existing centres to create vibrant and attractive third places for individuals, groups, and families to congregate. Following are some examples:

  • Groove @ Central World – Opened in late 2013 at Central Pattana’s (CPN) flagship Centra​lWorld property, the Groove expansion includes 4,000 sqm of enclosed retail space as well as 8,000 sqm specifically devoted to chic restaurants and bars, creating a hangout space in the city centre.
  • Zpell @ Future Park Rangsit – Zpell is a 60,000 sqm expansion of Future Park Rangsit opened in late 2015 at northern Bangkok’s largest super regional centre. The new space is highly family and activity oriented, with indoor ice skating and snow skiing, a large indoor “eco-park” replete with numerous perennial plants and an outdoor playground.
In addition, some developers are expanding in situ with new formats, new tenants and new activities. The last several years have witnessed the closing and re-opening of several shopping centres that have been redesigned to cater to local neighbourhood clientele while pushing the envelope in retail display and design.

  • The Street Ratch​adaphisek – Formerly the flagship location of Robinson’s department store, new owner TCC Land completely overhauled the 30,000 sqm centre in 2015. Featuring numerous foreign and domestic eateries, including Tim Ho Wan from Hong Kong and Mr. Pizza from Korea while also hosting Bounce, a 4,000 sqm indoor trampoline park from Australia, the centre caters exclusively to the rapidly growing and increasingly affluent surrounding neighbourhood, with parts of the centre open 24 hours.
  • Siam Discovery – Siam Piwat re-opened its 26,500 sqm centre in late May 2016 after a THB 4 billion renovation. The new centre re-imagines the traditional department store format and eschews the stale “indoor storefronts” mall format, with only a handful storefronts interspersed among broad swaths of futuristic display space curated by Siam Piwat. The centre has welcomed newcomers such as Hackett (UK), Issay Miyake and Nike’s first corporate presence and has been labelled as the “Exploratorium,” encouraging guests to mingle and explore.

JLL expects retail developers to continue to focus their investment on centre-wide renovations and expansions, with marquee properties like CentralWorld and Siam Paragon slated for high profile facelifts in the near future.​