Udon Charoensri Group, a retail developer in the Northeast, will build the biggest community mall in Ubon Ratchathani at a cost of 600 million baht.
The development is expected to cash in on market growth and purchasing power in neighbouring Laos with the advent of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.
The community mall, now under construction on a 30-rai plot of land, is scheduled to open by year-end, according to a source in the industry.
The community mall will be developed under the open-mall concept, comprising various global and domestic brands.
Apart from the community mall, the group is considering other commercial projects on its 1,000 rai in Udon Thani province next year.
Subsidiary Charoen Pattana Arket Co plans to develop a retail project on five rai in Udon Thani province. The open-concept mall will be called Lankonduen Charoensri.
The 110-million-baht complex is under design and will be completed by year-end, with Big C as an anchor.
Apart from Udon Charoensri Group, Central Pattana Plc is planning a new shopping lifestyle complex in Ubon Ratchathani to be opened in the second quarter next year.
Central Plaza Ubon Ratchathani will cost 2.75 billion baht and feature 140,000 square metres of retail space.
While purchasing power in Ubon Ratchathani is high, only Robinson Department Store has tapped the market. Robinson also plans to open a second branch some time next year.
Meanwhile, Fico Corporation Group will focus on retail business this year to prepare for more tourists visiting Thailand under the AEC.
Rachada Rojanavas, business development manager at Fico, said the group recently set up retail as a new business for aggressive expansion this year.
The company has begun to sell 1,500 square metres of retail space for One Fenix Square @ Holiday Inn Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 22.
The group has over 4,400 sq m of retail space through its hotel and office building projects.