The Mall Group, the country’s second-largest retail chain, is forming an alliance with the Liptapanlop family to jointly develop a large-scale shopping and entertainment complex in Hua Hin next year. A 50:50 joint venture will be soon set up by the Mall Group and Proud Group, which is now under the management of Proudputh, the daughter of veteran politician and chief adviser of Chart Pattana Puea Pandin Party Suwat Liptaponlop, to run the retail project.
The venture requires an investment of 5 billion baht to develop the retail project, which is located on a 20-rai plot on Phetkasem Road opposite Intercontinental Hua Hin Resort and close to Hua Hin Market Village. Construction is scheduled to start by early next year and will be completed in 2014.
The Mall Hua Hin will be a mixed-use complex with retail space between 80,000- 100,000 square metres. It will comprise The Mall department store, a retail plaza, a financial services area, entertainment anchors, international fashion brand name stores and a five-star hotel.The Mall Hua Hin will be the eighth retail project under the Mall Group and the second provincial branch after the Mall Korat in Nakhon Ratchasima, which was opened several years ago. A source in the retail industry said Hua Hin is an attractive market for investors.
The charming resort town in Prachuap Khiri Khan province started booming in the past five years with new property developments from hotels, resort condominiums, hospitals and even theme amusement parks. Hua Hin had 2 million tourist arrivals last year and nearby Phetchaburi province had 4 million.The community mall Hua Hin Market Village dominates the retail market, but other competitors include Tesco Lotus, Makro Food Service, Index Living and Chic Republic. One fashion supplier said he received an invitation letter from The Mall Group for the project presentation in the third week of October.
Apart from The Mall Hua Hin, the company also plans to open a second branch of The Emporium opposite the current location on Sukhumvit Road in 2014. Supaluck Umpujh, chief executive of The Mall Group, said the group’s policy was to expand its business step by step. “To become the market leader in Thailand’s retail industry is not our aim. For me, I’m happy to have business sustainability,” she said. Apart from its own investment, The Mall Group has expanded to manage other retail projects, focusing on the Gourmet Market grocery stores.
It operates Gourmet Markets for K Village on Rama IV Road, Terminal 21 at Asoke and The Promenade located next door to Fashion Island on Ram Intra Road. In its latest move, the company won a bid to operate 2,700 square metres of commercial space at Don Mueang Airport. The company will spend 200 million baht to develop the ‘Wonder Food of Asia’ venue and expects to open its service on Oct 1. Sales of The Mall Group are expected to reach 50-60 billion baht within three years, up from 45 billion this year.