Thursday, July 14, 2011


Encouraged by renewed political stability, The Mall Group is joining with Citibank in a regional marketing strategy to persuade foreign tourists to shop in Bangkok.

Natsamon Vongkittipat, the general manager for marketing, said the group received a good response when it offered privileges to foreign shoppers paying with international credit cards in Singapore and China over the past two years.

The success prompted the group to start a campaign aimed at allowing Singaporeans holding Citibank credit cards to redeem their points for cash coupons at Siam Paragon and The Emporium shopping complexes from Aug 1.

South Korean and Hong Kong tourists will be tapped in the future, but the next step will be to join with a credit card provider in China, said Ms Natsamon.

Tourists from China, Singapore and Hong Kong represent 60% of the foreign shoppers in Siam Paragon.

She said the new move was meant to maintain the growth of foreign shoppers in Siam Paragon, which averaged 30,000 visitors a month from March-May.

"Citi M Visa, our co-branded credit card, will be an important marketing tool for expanding our customer base through Citibank's global network of 200 million accounts in 160 countries," said Mrs Natsamon.

Apart from foreign shoppers, the company is offering a 365-day privilege campaign to attract Thai shoppers as well.

The Citi M Visa application on iPhones will inform customers of promotional information before they go shopping.

Mrs Natsamon said she was very optimistic about the second-half retail outlook thanks to renewed political stability.

"The policy of the Pheu Thai-led coalition government to lift the starting salary of new jobbers to 15,000 baht a month and the daily minium wage to 300 baht will spur people's purchasing power," she said.

There are now 370,000 Citi M Visa cardholders, with the number expected to rise to 500,000 next year.

Some 90% of cardholders spend an average of 11,300 baht per month.

The Mall has raised its sales target in 2011 to 44 billion baht from 42 billion.

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