|Mr Preecha (centre) with actress Mint Chalida Vijitvongthong and actor Naded Kugimiya at the launch of Robinson Department Store’s Rama IX branch.|
Robinson Department Store Plc plans to double its branches and sales over the next five years after expanding slowly over the past several years.
The number of branches in 2016 is expected to reach 50, up from 25 by the end of this year. Sales would rise to 34.6 billion baht over the same period.
Robinson president Preecha Ekkunagul said at least 2.5 billion baht would be spent to add five new branches each year for five years, with the funding to come from the company's cash flow.
Next year's five new branches will be in Bang Na, Bang Khae, Surat Thani, Lampang and Suphan Buri, each creating 500-600 new jobs.
"After preparing ourselves for a few years, we are now ready to speed up our expansion from only one or two new outlets each year as in previous periods," Mr Preecha said.
He described the new stores as similar in concept to Robinson's Rama IX branch, which officially opens Dec 14. The 25 new stores will come in three formats: stand-alone, lifestyle shopping centre and department store in a large shopping complex.
The Robinson on Rama IX is a six-storey building worth 1.2 billion baht and comes with a new look to fit the urban lifestyle of younger shoppers.
"We hope to target young shoppers at Chatuchak market or Siam Square," said Mr Preecha.
The company expects to gain 200 million baht in December sales from the new store and reach break-even within eight years.
Apart from the new branches, the company plans to spend money renovating its store in the Sukhumvit area in 2013. It will cease operations at the Lat Ya branch in Thon Buri after the lease ends in three years.
For its current flagship store on Ratchadapisek Road, the company has extended its lease to end in 2013; but if it can secure a long-term lease, the site will be developed into a complex rather than the current stand-alone department store concept.
Sales in 2011 are expected to reach 17.3 billion baht, up 18% from 2010.
Shares of Robinson (ROBINS) closed yesterday on the SET at 39 baht, up three baht, in trade worth 179.34 million.