Saturday, November 21, 2009

Robinson to add eight stores in three years

Robinson Department Store Plc will speed up its expansion plan for the upcoming economic recovery by investing 3 billion to 4 billion baht in another eight new projects over the next three years. Store expansion is one of the company's three priorities for next year, along with brand building and customer relationship management, said President Preecha Ekkunakul.

"In the past, we opened just one outlet [a year] on average. But we will move at a faster pace with at least two or three new branches per year after the economy gets better," he said.

The new branches next year will include one at a Central Pattana shopping complex, he said.

Robinson wants outlets across the country and in the next five years may open 10 branches to double its stores upcountry, said Mr Preecha.

The investment budget will come from the company's cashflow, he added.

The 23rd Robinson branch will open in Khon Kaen on Dec 3. The 680-million-baht store covers 20,000 square metres and features a luxurious, hip atmosphere. Along with luxury and fashion brand names it will stock items from the Only@Robinson house-brand line.

Robinson has confidence in its Khon Kaen store because the province has the highest per capita income in the Northeast, said Mr Preecha. More than 3 million customers can reach Robinson Khon Kaen within an hour and Khon Kaen is a centre for business, education and transport, he added. The company will spend 10 million baht to promote the store.

In addition to its outlet expansion, Robinson will focus on brand building and customer relationship management to draw customers.

"In the past two years, we have slowed down marketing events because the economy was not good. But next year, we anticipate that the economy will recover and we will then allocate more budget to build brand and communicate with customers," said Mr Preecha.

The company plans to spend 80 million baht to launch its campaign for the upcoming festive season. The company expects its sales this year to grow by 3-4%.

Robinson shares (ROBINS) closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 9.70 baht, down five satang, in trade worth 5.23 million baht.
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