Year-to-date sales of Robinson Department Store Plc have grown by more than 20%, the highest in the past three years, because of recovering purchasing power from local shoppers and tourists.
Sirinij Chokchairittikul, the company's vice-president for marketing, said half of Robinson's 23 department stores recorded sales growth of between 20-40% this year. These branches are in tourist destinations such as Phuket, Khon Kaen, Hat Yai and Chon Buri.
The sharp sales growth was mainly driven by fashion products for men and women, shoes and handbags, which together grew 20% and contributed about 60% of total retail sales.
"The economic recovery in the fourth quarter of last year increased consumer confidence. We also work closely with fashion suppliers to launch products one step ahead of other retailers with various selections," Ms Sirinij said.
Apart from fashion, cosmetics and home products also drove sales. Robinson surveys show spending on fashion items at its stores is as high as 3,200 baht per visit, beating other categories.
"Thais are influenced by all the new fashion brands. They dare to be fashionable more than in the past," she said.
Robinson expects sales in the first quarter will surge by 15% from 3.55 billion baht in the same period last year.
It increased its marketing budget by 40% to 70 million baht to launch a summer fashion campaign called Robinson Summer Spirit 2011 from March 1-22.
Moreover, it adjusted its merchandise mix by increasing fashion design to 60-70% and basic merchandising 40-30%, compared with an even split in the past.
Robinson will open a Chiang Rai branch on March 30.