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[ 2018-11-01 ]

Central Group Plans to Open Outdoor Lifestyle Mall at Bang Tao, Phuket

Thailand’s biggest retail conglomerate, The Central Group of Companies, is planning to build its first outdoor lifestyle mall in Phuket next year. Spending around B1 billion to build, this center will be located in the Bang Tao area.

In 2019 the company will start to develop Porto de Phuket on 50 rai in Bang Tao, according to Lertvit Pumipitak, the group’s senior executive vice-president of corporate business development. Construction is projected to be completed by the end of the year.

The first phase will focus on development of an outdoor lifestyle mall.   Located on 20 rai, the mall will cover 40,000 square meters.

There will be seven features of the lifestyle mall, including a Phuketian Mercado and Food Hall with bars, cafes, restaurants and beverage stores.

Other features that are planned for the mall are a Central Food Hall, a multi-design house that will offer creative products from top designers and a restaurant and café zone. Also planned for the mall are new formats of Supersports, PowerBuy, B2S and FamilyMart convenience store.

The company is also planning to invest B120-150 million to build a new Food Hall covering 3,000 square meters at the Porto de Phuket project, according to Nick Reitmeier, executive vice-president of Food Hall and International Buying for Central Food Retail Co. (CFR), which is the operator of Tops Supermarket and Food Hall.

The group already operates Central Festival, Central Floresta and Robinson Department Stores. They are also building a Zen Department Store slated to open in Patong before the end of the year.

Phuket is of great interest to the group because of the potential of the tourism industry.   Phuket saw 16.9 million visitors in 2017 that contributed B399bn to the economy. Projections of 20-25mn tourists in the next few years and contributing B555bn are expected, the company said.

“There is huge potential for Porto de Phuket because there are only a few retail chains in the area, while hotel villas and condos have seen massive growth," Mr Lertvit said. Phuket has more than 12,000 hotel rooms, over 5,000 apartment units and more than 2,000 villas, he said.

Customers in Cherng Talay district near Laguna Phuket have the highest spending power on the island. Their average spending per transaction is about B4,000 baht, compared with B3,000 in other zones, said Mr Lertvit.

Porto de Phuket is projected to host at least 3mn tourists every year and about 6,000 visitors during the weekday, with over 12,000 visitors during the weekend.