IT City, the SET-listed IT superstore, plans to spend 150 million baht to add a new upmarket store brand called isociety and to expand its existing IT City chain.
The domestic IT industry will grow at least 10% this year and the growth will continue at this rate through 2015, driven by increasing usage of IT products, particularly notebooks, smartphones and tablets, predicted Ekachai Sirijirapatana, president of IT City.
To tap the opportunity, the company will open at least eight branches next year. Even though the Bangkok market is relatively saturated, it will open four branches at major shopping plazas.
"Each IT City store needs at least 500 square metres. We're planning to open one each in Mega Bangna, Seacon Square Bangkae, Gateway Ekamai and Central Chaengwattana," Mr Ekachai said.
In order to maintain growth in the saturated Bangkok market, it will launch a branch under the new isociety brand where mid-ranged to premium-grade products are sold.
The first 8-million-baht shop at CentralWorld will be opened this month.
Currently, the main customers of IT City are in the lower- to middle-income brackets as it offers the masses functional products. The isociety brand will cater to the upper middle-class income. In Thailand, 80% of all IT products are in the low-end category while 20% are high-end.
IT customers in Thailand have become more sophisticated and tend to purchase more advanced products, prompting vendors to offer various grades of products to match the diverse needs.
Next year, it plans to open 3-4 isociety stores and will expand to major provinces in 2013.
In 2012, the company is upbeat about meeting its 20% growth target from sales at existing IT City and new shops.
This year, its sale revenue is likely to grow by 5% to around 6.54 billion baht, lower than the projected 11.5% due to the flood crisis.
Shares of IT closed on the SET at 10.40 baht yesterday, up 10 satang, in trade worth 1.56 million baht.